First Aid - Vital Signs / Transporting
Contributed by David Candline
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Dog's vital signs vary within "normal" ranges. It would be useful to
become familiar with your pet's vitals so that you can tell a vet of any change from its ordinary levels.
Heart / Pulse 80 - 120 beats per minute
Respiration 10 - 30 breaths per minute
Temperature 38-39 Degrees Centigrade / 100 - 102 Farenheit
Mucous Membranes warm, pink, and moist
Capillary refill time less than 1.5 secs. ( Capillary refill time is a
gross indicator of blood pressure) It can be observed by holding a dog's
lip open and firmly pressing down on the pink flesh inside the lip until
you see a white spot around the pressure point. The white spot is caused
by your having blocked the capillary blood vessels. The time taken for the
white spot to return to its ordinary pink color is the Capillary refill time.
Transporting a dog to the vet:
In an emergency, you will be no use to your dog if you are killed or
injured trying to get to the vet. If you are transporting a sick or paralyzed or poisoned dog you would be well to put it into a crate to minimize movement or interference with your being able to drive. If you are transporting an injured, or unconscious dog that may have
suffered fractures or internal injury - muzzle it first. Then transfer it to a small board or blanket for carrying it to the car. If possible consider taping the dog to a board to minimize movement. If limb fractures are suspected try to move the dog with the injured limb hanging free. Do not splint !