Emergency Treatments

  1. Allergic Reaction
  1. Clinical signs: Swelling around eyes and nose, hives, and difficulty breathing. These reactions may occur following vaccination or drug injections.
  2. Treatment:
  1. EPINEPHRINE (1:1000) given at a dose of 0.1-0.5 mL SQ or IM. If symptoms continue to get worse, this dose can be repeated one hour after the first dose. See page H205 for details on epinephrine.
  • In severe cases, epinephrine can be given IV using one quarter of the above dose. If given IV, administer slowly.
  1. ANTI-INFLAMMATORY - Dexamethasone, methylprednisolone, prednisolone, and triamcinolone are often used. These are given IM, IV, or SQ, depending on the product. (See the anti-inflammatory section of the manual for doses.)
  1. Contact a veterinarian immediately.


  1. Bleeding

Bleeding can be slowed by utilizing many different methods:

  1. Apply direct pressure using clean towels, bandage material, and some type of tape or wrap. These dressings, once soaked with blood, should not be removed, but should be left on and additional layers placed over the old ones.
  2. Keep the pet calm and confined.
  3. If the bleeding on a limb is extremely severe, a tourniquet may be applied above the injury. A rubber band makes an effective tourniquet for a dog’s leg. Caution should be taken to ensure that the tourniquet is not left on for long periods of time.
  4. Contact a veterinarian immediately.


  1. Diarrhea - See page E155

  2. Newborn puppies that are not breathing

To stimulate respirations:

  1. Remove the mucus and membranes from the nose and mouth (a syringe or bulb syringe can help).
  2. Rub the body briskly with a warm towel and stimulate the nose and mouth.
  3. Place 1-5 drops of Dopram under the base of the tongue. This dose can be repeated in 2-3 minutes if the puppy is still not breathing.
  4. It is NOT recommended to swing the puppy in the air or hang it upside down. Swinging actually makes it harder for the puppy to breathe.


  1. Seizures - See page E750

  2. Unconsciousness (Giving CPR)
  1. Clinical signs: Recumbent (lying down), cold, pale gums, possibly not breathing. Injuries may be evident if the cause of unconsciousness is a traumatic event.
  2. Treatment: If a pet is found to be unconscious, find out if the dog is breathing and has a heart beat. Artificial respiration and heart massage (i.e. CPR) must be initiated immediately if the dog has no pulse and/or has stopped breathing.

To stimulate breathing:

  1. Remove any obstruction to the upper airway. This is done by reaching inside the dog’s mouth, feeling for any abnormal object, and removing it.
  2. Administer mouth to nose artificial respiration. The mouth of the dog must be forced shut or be partially covered. Blow air into the dog’s nose, then pause to observe if there is movement in the chest as the lungs fill with air. Care should be taken not to overinflate the lungs. About 15 breaths per minute should be given.

To stimulate the heart (heart massage):

  1. Perform heart massage (compression). This is accomplished by firmly pressing with the palm of the hand on the chest of the dog. The best location for this is right behind the dog’s elbow on the left side of its body. These compressions should be given repeatedly at the rate of 80-120 per minute.

If both breathing and heart have stopped:

  • Apply 15 heart massages (compressions), followed by 2 artificial respirations. Continue this pattern of 15 heart massages and 2 breaths until the heart begins to beat and the dog breathes on its own.
  1. Contact a veterinarian immediately.


  1. Vomiting - See page E924

If required, the following can be given at home to induce vomiting in a pet:

  1. Hydrogen peroxide - 1-3 teaspoons orally every 10 minutes, followed by gently rocking the dog back and forth or jostling the abdomen for several minutes; repeat 3-5 times if necessary.
  2. Ipecac - 1 teaspoon orally per 10 lbs. of body weight.


  1. Weakness - See page E948