Pet is allowed to roam free and runs in
the path of a vehicle
Pet gets loose from your yard or a leash
Pet jumps out the window of a car
Jumping, falling or being thrown from
the bed of a pickup truck
Running over your pet while backing out
of the driveway
- If you have witnessed the event, make a mental note
of exactly where on the body the animal was hit, whether the animal was simply
hit or was driven over and whether the animal was thrown. Often, even in
very serious cases, an animal will get up and attempt to walk away. This
does not necessarily mean the animal is not severely injured; it is an
instinctive response that makes the animal try to escape danger.
- Approach the scene cautiously. Alert oncoming
traffic by waving a cloth. If traffic has not stopped, safely take the
animal to the side of the road before continuing. If you do not have
time to assess how best to carry the animal, based on the injuries, simply
drag the animal by the fur on top of the body, trying to keep the body as
still as possible. Otherwise, use the transport techniques in the
section Carrying and Transporting Techniques.
Take care not to worsen any obvious fracture or limb displacement.
- If the animal cannot move or appears to have a
spinal injury, place the animal on a flat board for transport If you
cannot find a board, use a blanket or shirt (slide the animal onto it and have
one or two people hold it on each side as stiffly as possible). If the
animal cannot move, there may be a broken back or severe internal injuries and
the animal may be in shock.
- Assess and note the following: position of the
animal; presence of blood, urine or feces (the veterinarian will need this
information when you get to the hospital).
- Does the animal have an open airway? Is the
animal breathing? If not, is there a heartbeat or pulse? If the
answers to any of these are no,
- If alert and standing up, observe whether the animal
is limping or favoring one side, Look for blood, open wounds, bruising
or limbs hanging in abnormal positions.
- If the animal is bleeding,
Any dog or cat who is hit by a car should be taken
directly to a veterinary hospital. Many internal injuries caused by the
trauma may not show up for 48-72 hours after the incident. These can
include slow leakage of blood from internal organs, rupture of the urinary
bladder or other internal organs and air or blood leaking into the chest cavity.
Because the animal's body is attempting to initially compensate for the trauma,
early shock may be difficult to identify.
Tips: To make car travel safer
for your pets, use a carrier (especially for cats), or check out the special
doggie seat belts and harnesses available at your pet supply store.
- Keep dogs and cats as indoor pets.
- Keep dogs leashed while outdoors.
- Don't transport pets in the back of
open pickup trucks unless the animal is confined in a sturdy, well-ventilated
carrier which is secured to the truck.