Hunting season can be great fun for people and dogs alike. However, there are risk associated with this time a year that can easily be prevented and prepared for.
What is a Parasite?
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
A parasite is an organism that lives on or in a host organism and gets its food from or at the expense of its host
Parasites are a year-round concern, but with dogs running through the woods and encountering different wildlife the risk can be increased. Intestinal parasites mainly target the GI tract but can cause other issues as well.
HOOKWORMS: Live in soil and can be ingested when the dog comes in contact via eating them or through self-cleaning. After attaching to the lining of the intestinal wall they feed on the dog's blood. The blood loss can have serious effects.
RINGWORM: Actually a fungus, not a worm. An infected dog will develop lesions on his head, ears, paws, and forelimbs. In severe cases, the infection can spread over most of the dog's body.
ROUNDWORMS: Look like white, firm, rounded strips of spaghetti, one to three inches long. They can infect other dogs and children.
TAPEWORMS: Ingested by your dog, via a host that is harboring an egg. The segments will often be found in stool or around the dogs anus. The segments look like grains of rice.
WHIPWORMS: Acquired by licking or sniffing contaminated ground. They resemble a small piece of thread. A telltale sign, though, is a stool that has a mucous covering, usually at the tip.
Impalement and penetrating injuries involve a foreign body stuck in an animal, usually in a body cavity like the abdomen or chest, or deep wounds where the skin is broken. Common examples in small animals include pets shot with arrows or crossbow bolts, dog fight injuries, and gunshots. Dogs frequently carry sticks in their mouths and suffer mouth or neck injuries when the end of the stick jams into the ground.Pets can also be impaled when running through the woods after wild animals.
Impalement and Penetrating Injuries
Calm and blanket pet
Muzzle the pet so you avoid getting bitten
Attempt to immobilize both the foreign body (if it's still there) and the pet. Severe and continuing damage is done whenever the foreign body is allowed to flail about the inside of the pet
If it appears that there is an open wound in the chest, cover the wound (and the foreign body, if necessary) with plastic wrap. Before you place the plastic wrap, apply petroleum jelly, sterile lubricant or antibiotic ointment to help seal the wound
If the foreign body can easily be cut, shorten it, leaving only 3 to 6 inches sticking out of the pet
Never try to remove the foreign body yourself
Do not allow the pet to move
Do not move the foreign body while cutting it
Do not avoid seeking veterinary attention just because a wound seems minor - there can be extensive hidden damage that needs medical attention
Improper technique when transporting a patient can result in further injury or complications, and risks a bite injury to the person transporting the injured pet.
Handle the pet as little as possible
Handle the pet gently
Lie the pet on its side if possible: if they have difficultly breathing in this position it may be better to leave them in a position of its choosing
Don't put pressure on stomach
Use a backboard: if the pet seems paralyzed or unable to get up, slide them onto the supportive backboard without bending the head or neck. If the pet does not object, gently tie or tape down to the support
Position the head: position in normal alignment with the body. If vomiting put the head down below the heart to allow the vomit to run out of the mouth
Cover the patient with a blanket
Know the route to the vet facility and call ahead
To avoid wasting time in a crisis ask your veterinary ahead of time about emergency services
Pressure on the