Going through the process of acting for a wounded animal can be an extremely distressing situation. The mixture of devastation, confusion, frustration, and empathy engulfs you as you figure out what to do.
Regardless of the type of animal, any of them would need the same care and attention to regain strength and health. In these moments, having the correct knowledge of animal first aid would come in handy and significantly alter the animal’s life.
Whether you encounter a limping dog, a bird with a wounded wing, or a cat attacked, you can use proper animal care knowledge to help them. If you do not know how to care for a wounded animal, we can help you acquire some! Here is a better understanding of how to treat a wounded animal.
1. Assess the situation
The first tip you should remember when treating a wounded animal is to begin by assessing the situation. When you first spot an injured creature, your instinct may be to rush to its side and offer immediate assistance. While this is a natural reaction, exercising caution and evaluating the situation safely is crucial.
Injured animals are often frightened, confused, or in pain, leading to unpredictable behaviour. Approaching too hastily may result in the animal feeling threatened, increasing the risk of aggression and, thereby, putting you and the animal in peril. Observing from a distance allows you to assess the animal’s condition without causing additional stress.
If you do not think it is wise to approach the animal in its state or environment, then the best option would be to call for professional help.
2. Approach slowly
Now that you have evaluated the situation and if you think it is safe for you to approach the animal, begin doing so slowly. Many wounded animals may react defensively due to their vulnerability. Approaching slowly and quietly decreases the likelihood of the animal feeling cornered or threatened, which can help prevent aggressive reactions like biting or scratching.
You can build trust with the wounded animal by maintaining a calm demeanour and using soft, reassuring tones. Trust is crucial for the animal to cooperate during the rescue process. Be prepared to wait if the animal is too scared or injured to move. Rushing can cause unnecessary stress. Allow the animal to acclimate to your presence at its own pace.
3. Restricting its movement
Now that you have approached the animal, you should try to restrict its movement. Injured animals may not be fully aware of the extent of their injuries, and their movements could worsen their condition. Preventing this is possible by restricting their movement so that you can prevent these unintentional actions from worsening their injuries.
You could do this using multiple methods and materials. Using a jacket or some kind of cloth and wrapping it up in it could be an effective strategy. Another method would be to place it in a cardboard box or container with sufficient ventilation. Covering the enclosure with a blanket or towel can help reduce the animal’s stress and provide a dark, secure environment. If you need to pick up the animal to place it in the enclosure, do so gently and with utmost care. Wear gloves to protect yourself and to minimize the risk of being bitten or scratched.
Remember, the goal is not to restrain the animal forcefully but to provide a safe, secure, and quiet environment where it can await further assistance from a veterinarian or another professional.
4. Controlling the bleeding
Controlling a wounded animal’s bleeding is a vital part of treating it. Excessive bleeding can be fatal for the animal. Open wounds are vulnerable to infection, which can complicate healing and lead to further health issues. Controlling bleeding minimizes the risk of infection and its pain and stress.
Apply gentle, steady pressure to the wound using a clean cloth for external bleeding. Avoid using excessive force, as this can lead to damaged tissues.
If there is far too much bleeding for you to handle, call for professional help immediately.
5. Visiting a vet
Having the animal arrive at the veterinarian will ensure that it is in safe and professional hands. Timely veterinary care can help prevent complications from untreated injuries or infections, so have them at the clinic as soon as possible!
Veterinarians can accurately diagnose the extent and severity of the animal’s injuries. They can identify hidden internal injuries, fractures, infections, or other underlying health issues that might not be immediately visible to your eyes. Once the vet has diagnosed the animal’s condition, they can begin treatment, including medication or surgery.