Pixie-Bob News Room

Day 2: Abdominal Wounds

Day 2 of Pet First Aid Secrets, ‘Pet 911: Top 7 Common Pet Emergencies And How To Respond Fast’, the complimentary course by Dr. Andrew Jones.

This issue – Abdominal Wounds. Emergency At Home Care, what to do if the organs are showing and the “secret” household item that could save your pet.

Abdominal Wounds are common pet emergencies. I often see small dogs and cats with severe abdominal wounds following an attack by a large dog.

In a few cases, if these pet owners had been aware of what to do, they could have saved their pet’s life.

Now that you have this course, if you practice and teach yourself these techniques, you will know what to do if your pet ever has a serious abdominal injury.



The abdomen (belly) holds most of the important internal organs. It is protected by 3 layers of muscle, plus the fat and skin, but is vulnerable to injury. A small dog or cat can easily have his entire abdomen punctured by a large dog bite. The only thing visible to you may be small punctures on the surface of the skin.

These are the most important signs which signal immediate veterinary care:

– Shock

– Pain

– Vomiting

– Evidence of injury (I.E. bruising, swelling, local pain)

– Blood in the urine if the bladder or kidneys are injured

– Blood in the stool or around the anus if the large bowel has been injured

– Abnormal swelling may indicate a hernia particularly in the groin or flanks

– Protrusion of intestines if the abdominal wall has been torn


A bite, car accident or foreign object has penetrated the abdomen (belly). Other common ways include falling and large animal kicks.


CALL THE VET RIGHT AWAY. Serious abdominal injuries need to be treated by a veterinarian.


A pet in shock will act weak or sleepy. The most common sign I see are pale gums and tongue – in some dogs and cats the eyelids droop. Severe shock can result in death in as little as 15 minutes. If you suspect this, then transport to the emergency vet right away. Wrap your pet in a blanket to keep him warm, and put a few drops of honey on his gums, and drive immediately to the vet.


In bleeding wounds, you want to apply direct pressure with a clean cloth or gauze pad. If the blood seeps through, re-apply a second cloth – do not remove the first one, as removing it can break up a forming clot.


This is advised to do so long as the wound only appears superficial and doesn’t penetrate into the abdomen. Use clippers or blunt tipped scissors. I always advise to first fill the wound with K-Y jelly to keep the hair from adhering to the wound.


I find that it is easiest to use warm running water. The best thing is using a handheld showerhead. After gently spraying, use a damp cloth soaked with antiseptic solution (chlorhexidine) and gently wipe around the wound. If you are treating the wound at home, then perform this hydrotherapy twice daily for 3-5 days.


This seldom happens, but if it does you need to know what to do.


First rinse the organs with saline solution – if you don’t have this lukewarm tap water is fine. This cleans the organs and keeps the tissue moist and healthy.


These can be gently pushed back into the abdominal cavity after being rinsed. First soak gauze pads or a cloth in either sterile saline solution or lukewarm tap water. DON’T use your bare hands. Apply firm pressure and place the organs through the hole in the abdomen. If you can’t get them to go in easily, then leave them on the moist towel. WRAP the abdominal cavity and the organs with a belly band. This is the household item I was referring to: a home belly band is easiest with plastic wrap (Saran Wrap). It just needs to be tight enough to hold everything in place.

Copyright 2007 Four Paws Online Ltd.

Tel: 1-800-396-1534
Fax: 1-250-352-1901


January 26, 2008 - Posted by | Feline Health, K9 Health

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