Dogs have an uncanny knack for getting themselves into trouble. The most common injuries that befall dogs are torn nails, bite wounds, eye wounds, cruciate ligament tears, and spinal problems, all of which are reviewed here.
A torn toenail can be a very painful – yet preventable – injury for a pet. A dog’s toenail can get caught on an object and split or tear. Depending on the severity of the injury, surgery may be required to remove the nail. In the best-case scenario, a veterinarian will be able to stop the bleeding and save the nail with minimal invasiveness.
To prevent a torn toenail, pet parents should keep their dog’s nails trimmed short. The Actijoy Healthbook, found in the Actijoy App, can be used as a reminder for pet owners to keep track of trimming to help prevent this injury.
Bite wounds are the most common injury and, regardless of severity, require a visit to a veterinarian. The biggest risk of a puncture wound is an infection, which can be deadly.
To prevent bite wounds, supervise your pet’s interactions and understand canine body language. Many dog bites can be prevented by de-escalating stressful situations before they reach their breaking point.
Dogs can damage an eye by grazing a sharp object, being hit by road debris when sticking their heads out a car window, or even by scratching an itch and snagging their eye with a sharp nail. Any eye injury should be checked by a veterinarian ASAP. While eye injuries can be difficult to prevent, pet owners should keep their dogs contained inside vehicles and also keep nails trimmed short.
Cruciate Ligament Tear
The cruciate ligament provides stability in the knee. When torn, dogs experience pain and are unable to put their full weight on that limb. In many cases, a cruciate ligament tear will require surgery to repair. The most common cause is high impact stress, such as jumping from tall objects or sports such as Agility.
For dogs with long bodies, such as Dachshunds, spinal injuries are common. For some dogs, this condition is genetic while for others they are simply more prone to injury due to their elongated spine. Treatment ranges from surgery to crate-rest.
Fortunately, these common injuries are unlikely to be life-threatening when treated in time. More information on the five leading causes of death in dogs can be found here.