What to do if your dog chokes or drowns

Camping dogs live the good life – until they stick their snouts where they don’t belong. If your pup has crossed paths with a skunk or skunk, your camping trip will change dramatically. You may be able to handle this in the field, but there’s a good chance old Bowser will need a trip to the vet or spa. Here’s the workout for each.

Get to the point

According to vets, a dog with a dozen bits stuck to its nose, chin or lips is a DIY job. First, place a towel over the dog’s eyes to help him stay calm. Next, firmly grasp a case with pliers. Often the dog will instinctively back away at the first sensation of pain and the mouth will hang out. Repeat as needed and spread the procedure over an hour or two, if necessary, to give the dog a break. Go for a walk, rest and have a dose of delicious food between pint sessions.

If your puppy is wrapped in more needles than he can handle, or if they are embedded in his mouth or tongue or near his eyes, you should break camp and get to a vet. Cut the gums with sharp scissors to keep them from catching on the brush or dressing, but leave enough of each exposed for the doctor to work with.

Stop Funk

If your pet gets sprayed by a skunk, you’ll quickly find out who your best friends are—and it’s a safe bet you won’t have many. Deskunkifying is a lonely task. If you’re close to civilization, head to a pet store or outdoor sporting goods store and hope they carry a commercial soap bar. Alternatively, start by washing the dog with a solution of one quart (1 L) of hydrogen peroxide, 1/2 cup (120 mL) of baking soda, and 2 teaspoons (10 mL) of mild dishwashing liquid. Multiply, rinse and repeat. Again and again, most likely.

This article is adapted from Field & Stream’s Total Camping Handbook.

Total Camping Manual Book Cover

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