Dachshund First Aid

Ask your vetEmergencies can occur anytime and the best thing to do is be prepared. Having a first-aid kit ready will help reduce anxiety if an emergency does happen. Keep the kit readily available and periodically check to make sure all the items are up to date and present. A small plastic toolbox or fishing tackle box works well to hold all the necessary equipment. Besides having normal first aid supplies consult your vet with specific items that your dog might require.

The following information is provided to help you care for your pet in the event of an emergency and until veterinary help can be provided. Medication should not be administered without first consulting your veterinarian, as human medication may not have the same result on an animal and could cause further problems.

Unless you are in an emergency situation please contact your veterinarian for help with any questions you may have or to report symptoms about which you may be concerned.

One thing your kit should include is an Information Card/Health Chart with your Veterinary Hospital's phone number and address, along with the number for Poison Control and your local animal control. I recommend including animal control in case you happen to come across a stray animal that needs your help.


Your dachshund's heart rate should be measured by placing your hand on the left side of their chest, just behind the elbow. You should be able to feel the beats of the heart.

Count the number of beats for 15 seconds and multiply by 4, this will give you the number of beats per minute.

Try taking several readings to give you an average heart rate. Practice this during non-emergency times like when they curl up next to you on the couch.

You can also try to find your dachshund's pulse using the femoral artery located in the groin area where the hind leg meets the body. Press firmly with two fingers, you should easily feel the beats.

In an emergency you may need to find your dachshund's pulse and the best place is the femoral artery.

Normal heart rate for a dog can be 70 – 180 beats per minute, smaller dogs have a faster heart rate then larger breeds, puppies can be 220 beats per minute.


Measure your dachshund's respiratory rate by counting the number of breaths for 15 seconds and multiply by 4, this gives you the number of breaths per minute. Dogs usually breathe 10 – 30 times a minute. Panting dogs breathe much faster, up to 200 times a minute.


The following are some common emergency situations and ways of handling the emergency:

Remember: you should remain calm


Usually brought on by internal bleeding and can follow a car accident. The dog will be completely prostrate and will have glassy eyes and shallow breathing. His legs and ears will be cold and the gums pale. Cover the dog for warmth and take it immediately to your vet or emergency animal hospital.


Contact the nearest Poison Control Center. This number should be kept in a place where all family members can find it easily. If you know what poison your dachshund ingested it makes it easier for the Center or your veterinarian to advise you.

Do not induce vomiting without the advice of a veterinarian, as it could be dangerous. Keep poisons out of reach of your dachshund, as you would do with children. ALWAYS consider antifreeze a very dangerous poison and never allow your animals in an area where antifreeze is being poured.


Heatstroke is most often caused by confining a dog in the car parked in the sun. Breathing becomes very rapid and labored and the dog appears to be near collapse. Drench the dog in cold water to reduce body heat helps significantly. The best first aid in this case is to leave your dachshund at home when the weather is hot or you must make stops. NEVER leave your dog in an unattended car in hot weather, EVEN FOR A FEW MINUTES JUST TO POP IN SOMEPLACE.

Skunk spray

Before bathing rub down her entire coat with tomato juice and let it stand for several minutes. This may have to be repeated. There are also some commercial products available at your local pet shop, which will immediately neutralize the skunk odor. If you live in an area prone to skunks you may want to keep either of these on hand to quickly take care of the problem.

Burns: heat burns/acid burns

Simple burns, which might occur from, hot water or grease could usually be treated with a sterile antibiotic ointment which will soothe the burned area. Larger burns should have a light bandage for more protection. Burns from acids or alkali's should be flushed with diluted baking soda or diluted lemon juice respectively and then treated as a regular burn. Do not apply turpentine or kerosene to remove paint, tars, or grease from dog's coats. Both of these products can produce painful burns. Instead use vegetable oil and then wash with mild soap and water and apply more oil for a soothing effect. Seriously burned dogs need medical attention immediately as they may go into shock.

Artificial Respiration

In some cases, such as electric shock (when a puppy may chew on an electric cord) when you can feel the heart beating but the dog is not breathing, place your dachshund on her side. Alternately depress and release the chest by pressing gently on the rib cage and its most posterior margin. Sometimes aromatic inhalants will help as well.

Complete First Aid Emergency Kit

Updated Health Chart: this must be prepared in advance. Should include birth date, current weight, at rest heart rate, normal temperature. In an emergency, this will give you a quick guideline to know what is abnormal. Dachshund as do most dogs, temperatures fluctuate greatly throughout the day and from day to day. Have your vet show you how to take your dog's temperature using a rectal thermometer. NEVER TAKE A DOG'S TEMPERATURE ORALLY!

  • Muzzle or length of fabric to make a muzzle. Pantyhose or an old necktie work great for making muzzles. Even if your dachshund has never bitten anyone before, during emergencies they may lash out at anything close to them which could be your face or hands. The muzzle will help prevent adding to the emergency situation.

  • Latex gloves to not only protect you, but to also protect your dachshund from any bacterial transfer that may be on your bare hands.

  • Bandaging materials - gauze squares, rolls of gauze, non-stick Telpha pads, bandage tape, elastic bandage, and blunt tip scissors for clipping hair and cutting bandage material.

  • Electric clippers for shaving hair from wounds. If you don't have electric clippers, scissors can be used with great care.

  • Rectal thermometer. Normal temperature ranges from 99 — 102 degrees F. Anything below 95 is an emergency, call your veterinarian and begin to warm your pet immediately. Anything above 106 is an emergency you need to call your veterinarian and begin to cool your pet immediately. If your pet's temperature is moderately high or low you still should call your veterinarian and alert them that something maybe wrong, it may not be an emergency now but it may become one if care is not given.

  • Lubricant KY Jelly works well for lubing the thermometer and if you apply it to any open wounds it will prevent hair from sticking to the wound while the hair is clipped away (the KY jelly will rinse easily from the wound and take any hair that may have been trapped in the KY during shaving).

  • Antiseptic wash like Betadine solution for soaking and flushing wounds.

  • Tweezers for removing splinters or glass shards.

  • Clean towels and wash cloths for use as restraint or to keep your pet warm.

  • Ready made cold and hot packs.

  • Sterile eye flush to help flush out foreign matter

  • Karo syrup for shock. Karo syrup or even pancake syrup can be used to help keep young dogs and puppies blood sugar up in an emergency.

  • Triple antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin, works well on wounds.

  • Hydrogen Peroxide to induce vomiting. Check with your veterinarian before inducing vomiting, some poison substances should not be vomited.

  • Antihistamine – Benedryl for itching or allergic reactions. Check with your veterinarian before using and for the correct dosage.

  • Syringes with needle removed, for giving liquid medications orally.

  • Styptic powder for minor bleeding, like trimming a toe nail to short.

  • Blankets to help keep pets warm and can be used as a stretcher for large dogs.

  • Box or pet carrier to use as a stretcher. A trash can lid also makes a good stretcher.