How to Approach an Injured Animal

November 10, 2016
American Veterinarian Editorial Staff

Elke Rudloff, DVM, DACVECC, clinical specialist and residency trauma supervisor at Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists, explains how to approach an injured animal.

Elke Rudloff, DVM, DACVECC, clinical specialist and residency trauma supervisor at Lakeshore Veterinary Specialists, explains how to approach an injured animal.

Interview Transcript (slightly modified for readability)

“Any time a pet owner comes upon an animal that has been injured, for example one that might have been hit by a car, they have to be very careful on how they approach the pet. First of all, they need to secure the scene; so if it happened on a busy road, they don’t want to just run out into the road, because they don’t want to get injured themselves. What they want to do is stop traffic, make sure the scene is secure, and then carefully approach the animal, because the animal can be fearful, it can be [in pain], and regardless of how nice they are, could still bite their own pet owner. Approaching [the pet] with a calm voice, quietly; making slow movements is always best in the initial approach.

If [the person] also [has] any way to protect themselves from any bodily fluids, particularly blood, they would want to do that. So if by chance, they have any sort of latex gloves that they can [use to] protect their hands if they’re going to handle the pet that might be bleeding, they would want to do that as well.”