Most cuts through the skin will stop bleeding within five to six minutes of their occurrence. Those that do not or that are bleeding profusely need some kind of immediate care, especially if it’s going to be a while before you can enlist professional veterinary aid.
This is the best method to stop bleeding. Place a clean sterile gauze pad directly over the wound and apply firm, even pressure. If the bandage is to be left on a limb for several hours it should be applied over the wound and down the leg to cover the foot as well. This rule applies to the tail as well. If you do not have a bandage, firm, direct pressure (with your bare hand, if necessary) over the wound for several minutes will often stop the bleeding.
Tourniquets are useful only for bleeding involving a limb or tail and as a last resort. Avoid this unless absolutely necessary, for gangrene may result if a tourniquet is left on too long. Never apply a tourniquet around the neck. If you are using a tourniquet be sure to loosen every fifteen minutes to allow re-oxygenation of tissues.
- Use a one-inch-wide gauze bandage roll; wrap twice around the limb or tail, between the wound and the body, about two inches from the wound. Do not use a narrower bandage or a string. It will cut into the underlying skin.
- Tie a half hitch (one tie of the line) in the bandage, put a pencil or stick on top, and tie a square knot above.
- Twist slowly until the bleeding slows to a trickle. Fasten the stick in place by tying or taping gently. Be sure to loosen briefly every fifteen minutes for one minute.
- Cover the wound lightly with sterile gauze.
- Watch for indications of shock.