Canine First Aid for Hydrotherapists

121 videos, 6 hours and 13 minutes

Course Content

Improvised tourniquets for dogs

Video 51 of 121
4 min 8 sec
Want to watch this video? Sign up for the course or enter your email below to watch one free video.

Unlock This Video Now for FREE

This video is normally available to paying customers.
You may unlock this video for FREE. Enter your email address for instant access AND to receive ongoing updates and special discounts related to this topic.

If you have to deal with a pet and they have got a catastrophic bleed, then you may need to use an improvised tourniquet. Now, a tourniquet is something that will completely cut off all blood circulation from the point where you apply it. You know you apply them to limbs, in this example here we got amputation, so if we imagine this is a catastrophic bleed, there is a lot of blood coming out. We have only got minutes to actually stop the bleeding to enable the blood to stop and keep enough blood in the body so that the vet can actually save the animal. Now, with using commercial tourniquets, there is a problem because most of them do not actually fit around animals, particularly with smaller animals, but if you use an improvised tourniquet, these will pretty much work on any animal. So to do them, you can just use anything. This is just a triangular bandage, now it's the material type of triangular bandage.

A lot of first aid kits will have triangular bandages in them but they are paper type and they tear very easily, but if you have not got a triangular bandage, you can use anything from a scarf or a tie, something like that. Things like belts are not very good because you will never get them around tight enough because of the way that the belt will go around the animal, but if in doubt and you cannot do anything, worst case, you could just hold on to the leg really, really tight to stop the blood flow. Because the whole point is that we are stopping blood coming out, so if you are to apply an improvised tourniquet, just take a standard dressing like this and just roll it up, so you want what's called a broad fold bandage. So it is nice and wide. We do not have it too narrow, if it is too narrow or for example, you use a string or rope, then what would happen, it would just cut straight through to the skin and then we have got another bleed from the higher site up, so keep it nice and wide. Then what you need to do, ideally with two people, but if not, you can do it on your own.

So just tie in a half not. So you just put tie that around and when you tie that on, so it's nice and tight, and then you need to have something as a wind glass to actually wind around. So in this example here, we are just using a knife, but you could use a screwdriver or a spanner, anything you have got. Now, be careful if you are going to use something like a pen, because a plastic pen with the amount of pressure we are going to apply for this, it is going to break. So have something that's going to be strong enough. So then take the wind glass you we are using and just tie it over. What we are doing now, just literally just tie that so it's nice and tight in place, so that's now held tightly on there, you can again, put another knot in if you need to. And then what you are going to do is just going to wind that around as tight as you can, so that a wind round. When you get to a point where it is tight and the blood has stopped, you can then secure it in place. So it's just really a matter of just tying the end round, wrapping it around, so you have got either side, so we can hold it in place, and then the feet is at the bottom, we can just tie that off to hold it nice and securely.

Once that is in on and in place, leave it on note what time you have actually applied it because that will help the vet as well. If they are seeing blood coming through, you need to wind around tighter. Now, when you are winding this around on any animal, it is going to hurt, it is going to hurt a lot. Once it's on, it's not going to be so bad because the area will go numb, but at the start, it's going to be hurt, so be really careful you do not get bitten. Also, if it's a very small animal, you are just not going to grab to do this, but this is mainly for your larger type dogs, but it can be used in others. So tighten that up so it's nice and firm, keep a check on it, make sure there is no blood coming out, never remove it because if you remove it, the blood is just going to come out again. So once it is put on, leave it on and then get the animal to the vet as quickly as possible. Now, this is a life-threatening condition, so we do need to get them to the vet as fast as possible. But if you apply a torniquet first, then there is more chance that the vet can save the animal.

And it is just worth noting that, yes we are doing this on a dog here, but this exact same principle will work on humans as well. So if you ever got to a situation where you had to deal with catastrophic bleed on a human, you can use exactly the same technique for arms or legs.