Basic Canine First Aid Part Three: Practical First Aid Treatment

First aid should be a primary concern for every professional dog groomer. Groomers deal with scissors, blades, water, chemicals and even heavy electrical equipment on a daily basis, so taking steps to prepare for potential first aid emergencies are vital.

Below, Groomers have compiled a list of minor first aid emergencies and how to treat them. Please note, Groomers offer this advice as basic guidance only – ensure you also seek training in practical first aid, and seek veterinary care when necessary.

  • Wounds and cuts. This can happen quite easily in the grooming salon with scissors and wriggling dogs! Treat small wounds by first stemming any bleeding with styptic powder or wound congealer, then clean the cut with an antibacterial solution. You may need to carefully remove some of the surrounding hair with a guarded clipper. Finally, bandage if possible. If you have a large wound that may need stitches, contact a vet immediately.
  • Skin irritation. This is typically caused in the grooming salon by clipper burn or product sensitivity. Wash the area with cool water gently to remove any clipped hair or product residue, and then apply some aloe vera gel or soothing EPOC cream.
  • Overheating. This can occur in salons that use cage dryers, or even on a hot day in a salon without air-conditioning. Symptoms of over-heating include severe thirst, vomiting, weakness and breathing difficulties. Treat by moving the dog into a cool area with good airflow. Offer some cool or tepid (not cold) water, and then seek veterinary care.
  • Dog bites. If you have more than one dog in your salon at one time, there is a slim chance a dogfight may occur. In this instance, examine the dogs involved for any wounds, and treat minor cuts as specified above. More major puncture wounds will need veterinary attention.

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