First Aid

Visits to the the vets can sometimes be stressful for your pet and many pet owners try to avoid attending the vets for this reason. However you should be aware of some conditions that need to be seen by the vet as a matter of urgency.

If you have an emergency please phone 01543 262464 / 262433

Bloat or GDV (Gastric Dilatation and Volvulus)

This is most common in deep chested breeds such as the Great Dane, Dobermann and Setters but can occur in many other breeds. It can occur without warning and if left untreated can be rapidly fatal.

The stomach becomes distended due to trapped gases and then twists on itself, restricting the blood supply. This is a real emergency – your dog should be rushed to the vets immediately no matter what time of day or night.

Symptoms of bloat include gagging and trying to vomit, a distended abdomen that is tight and hard to touch, drooling, heavy panting and restlessness.

Although there is no absolute way of preventing a GDV there is a higher risk if you exercise your dog directly after feeding. We would advise to always wait at least one hour after a meal before exercising your dog.

Seizures or Fits

While it can be extremely distressing to watch your pet having a seizure, do not try to restrain them as this can lead to further injury to your pet and yourself. There are things you can do though to help:

  • Note the time
  • Remove hazardous objects from around your dog
  • Make sure your dog is not in a hazardous location ie. at top of the stairs. If so try to gently move them away from this hazard but only if it is safe for you to do so.
  • Provide a quiet and if possible darkened environment and gently talk and reassure your dog.

Most seizures will last 1-2 minutes and will be followed by a period of disorientation. If fitting lasts for more than 5 minutes, or if there have been multiple seizures over a short time – contact your vet immediately.

If your dog has had a short fit then we advise contacting your vet for advice but it is probably not necessary to see your pet urgently but we may advise for them to have an appointment with the vet to check them over.

Road Traffic Accidents

If your dog has been hit by a car seek veterinary help straight away. Even if your dog appears to have no external wounds or injuries he/she must be checked to ensure there are no internal problems.

If your dog is unable to walk then slide them on to a towel or blanket, this will act as a stretcher and reduce movement for your pet. Be aware that even the most placid dog may try to bite in these situations out of pain and fear. Please take care not to injury yourself.

Cuts and Wounds

Any deep cuts and wounds should be seen straight away as they may require stitching. If the wound is bleeding apply pressure with either a clean cloth, or apply a pressure bandage. Severe haemorrhage can lead to shock so it is very important that you seek veterinary help as soon as possible.


There are many household items that can be toxic to dogs. Chocolate toxicity is one of the most common but there are many others including Ibruprofen, Raisins and Grapes, Slug and Rat bait to name but a few. If you think your pet may have eaten something toxic then phone the vets immediately and will advise you as to the best course of action. DO NOT TRY TO MAKE YOUR PET VOMIT.

If you know what your pet has ingested or have any packaging then please tell us or bring the item with you. This information can help us initiate appropriate treatment as quickly as possible.

We are registered with the Veterinary Poisons Information Service (VPIS).

You should NEVER give any human medications to your dog as this can be extremely harmful!

Vomiting / Diarrhoea

In most cases vomiting and diarrhoea with no other serious symptoms, does not require emergency treatment. These cases are often caused by dietary indiscretions or a mild stomach upset. Withold food for 24 hours and if the vomiting/diarrhoea has stopped, feed a bland diet, i.e. chicken and rice which is highly digestible. However there are some more serious instances which can require more urgent treatment.

If your dog is repeatedly vomiting and is unable to keep down any food or water, or if they seem listless and in pain then please contact us for advice. Vomiting/diarrhoea with blood may also require more urgent attention and veterinary advice should be sought in these cases.

 Bee / Wasp Stings

Dogs are most commonly stung either on the face or feet often causing swelling of the area. If swelling of the face is occuring it is important to monitor for signs of difficulty with breathing. If you have any concerns with your dogs breathing then please call the practice immediately.

In cases where swelling is extensive we can administer an injection to help reduce the swelling.

Eye Injuries

Eye injuries are serious as they can lead to blindness or permenant scarring. They require prompt veterinary attention. Signs of problems with the eye may include squinting, irritation, discomfort or visible changes to the eye i.e. becoming very red and angry, cloudy or sometimes blood may be seen.


Pool House Vets