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Trauma/Automobile Injury in Dogs

By: Dr. Ann Marie Manning

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Automobile injury or trauma is defined as an injury sustained when a dog is struck by a moving vehicle such as a car, truck, snowplow, train or motorcycle. Injuries may also occur as the result of human abuse, falling from a height, or animal attacks.

The impact of traumatic injuries ranges from minor to life threatening and any body system may be affected. Common injuries include but are not limited to:
  • Shock
  • Skin bruising, abrasions and lacerations
  • Head and facial injuries
  • Spinal cord injuries
  • Broken bones
  • Pulmonary contusions (bleeding into the lungs)
  • Pneumothorax (air in the chest cavity)
  • Internal bleeding due to a liver, spleen or kidney injury
  • Ruptured bladder

    What to Watch For

  • Abnormal behavior
  • Inactivity
  • Hiding
  • Crying, whining
  • Bruising
  • Skin abrasions
  • Lacerations
  • Pale gums
  • Increased respiratory rate
  • Difficulty breathing
  • Lameness or obvious broken bones

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