If the wound is rhythmically spurting blood, this may indicate a bleeding artery. Arterial bleeding is more difficult to stop, bleeds more rapidly and causes a much greater loss of blood than bleeding of a vein. Slower oozing of blood indicates bleeding of a vein, which is much easier to stop and less dangerous.
1. Wearing latex gloves, hold a piece of gauze, wash cloth or other clean material over the bleeding site and apply direct pressure. If the material becomes soaked through, do not remove it (you may disturb a clot -- which is the body's attempt to stop bleeding) but apply another cloth over it. Do this repeatedly if necessary. Direct pressure is the safest way to stop bleeding until you can reach a veterinary hospital.
2. If bleeding has not stopped and blood is spurting, in addition to direct pressure over the wound, hold the area just above the wound with your hand. (You are attempting to close off the blood vessel to the areas.) If the blood is flowing heavily but not spurting, hold the area just below where it is bleeding to close off the blood vessels.
3. If holding above or below the wound fails to stop the bleeding, apply a pressure bandage.
Wrap gauze or other soft material around the wound just tight enough to stop the bleeding.
Secure with tape.
Do not make it too tight. If you are working on a limb, check repeatedly for swelling of the toes or toes that become cold; these indicate your bandage is too tight, in which case you will need to loosen it.
4. If the limb does not appear to be broken, elevate the limb above the level of the heart, while continuing to apply direct pressure.
If none of the above techniques works, resort to applying hand pressure to
Pressure Point Techniques
Pressure points are areas from which the blood vessel travel; if you apply hand pressure to them, the bleeding should stop.
To use the pressure point technique, apply firm, even pressure to the appropriate pressure point:
Bleeding on the front limbs. Place three fingers up and into the armpit on the side with the bleeding limb.
Bleeding on the back limbs. Place three fingers to the area of the inner thigh where the leg meets the body wall, on the side with the bleeding limb.
Bleeding of the head. Place three fingers at the base of the lower jaw (the angle just below the ear) on the same side and below where the bleeding is occurring.
Bleeding of the neck. Place three fingers in the soft groove next to the windpipe (which feels round and hard) on the side of the neck where the bleeding is occurring, just below the wound. Be sure not to apply pressure to the windpipe itself.
When using pressure points to control bleeding, you must release pressure slightly for a few seconds, at least every ten minutes. This helps prevent permanent damage.
Avoid using the neck
pressure point on any animal suspected of having a head injury, unless you feel
the animal's life is in immediate danger. Ensure you do not restrict
Use only on limbs -- never
place a tourniquet around the neck!
This technique can cause a lot of damage and
should only be used as a last resort, for a life or death situation. (For
example, the animal has lost enough blood to lose consciousness).
1. Wrap a wide strip of cloth or gauze (about 2 inches) twice around the limb above the areas that is bleeding.
2. Do not make a knot.
3. Tighten the gauze or cloth by wrapping each end of the cloth around a rigid object such as a stick.
4. Turn the stick slowly and just enough to stop blood flow. Write the time on a piece of tape on the tourniquet so you can keep track.
5. Loosen the tie for several seconds at least every 10 minutes to help avoid permanent tissue damage.
6. Be aware this animal may lose the limb due to the interrupted blood supply.
Pressure points and tourniquets should be used only as a last resort to stop bleeding in a life and death situation, as persistent decreased blood flow to the area may cause severe damage.