If your Saint Bernard is injured, it could be in pain and is also most likely scared and confused. You need to be careful to avoid getting hurt, bitten or scratched possibly by accident.

Never assume that even the gentlest Saint will not bite or scratch if injured. Pain and fear can make animals unpredictable or even dangerous.

Don’t attempt to hug an injured dog, and always keep your face away from its mouth. Although this may be your first impulse to comfort your dog, it might only scare the animal more or cause them more pain.

Perform any examination slowly and gently. Stop if your Saint Bernard becomes more agitated.

Call your veterinarian or an emergency veterinary clinic before you move your Saint Bernard so they can be ready for you when you arrive.

If necessary, and if your dog is not vomiting, place a muzzle on the pet to reduce the chances you’ll be bitten.

Adult Saint Bernards may be muzzled with towels, stockings or gauze rolls if you don’t have standard dog muzzles on hand.

Young Saints and puppies may be wrapped in a towel to restrain them, but make sure your pet is not wrapped in the towel too tightly and its nose is uncovered so it can breathe. NEVER muzzle your pet if it is vomiting.

If possible, try to stabilize injuries before moving an injured Saint by splinting or bandaging them.

While transporting your injured Saint Bernard, keep it confined in a small area to reduce the risk of additional injury. Cages/Crates work well, (but make sure your dog has enough air). For extra large dogs, you can use a board, a kid’s toboggan/sled, door, throw rug, blanket or something similar to act as a stretcher.

You should always keep your Saint Bernard’s medical records in a safe, easily accessible place. Bring these with you when you take your dog for emergency treatment to a vet.

Brenda McWhorter

Health Committee

December., 2013