What to do when an animal has been hit by a car

Even if it wasn’t your fault you have a sense of responsibility to take necessary action!

There is nothing more heartbreaking than coming across an animal that’s been hit by a car and even if it wasn’t your fault you have a sense of responsibility to take necessary action.

We contacted the SPCA to find out exactly what to do (and not do) when an animal has been hit by a car. In this instance, a dog is used as an example:

Try your best to stay calm – we know it’s difficult – but make sure the accident scene is safe for you to go and check the dog and see if it is still breathing.

Also read: Safety tips on driving with ‘vulnerable passengers’ 

If the dog is still breathing there is a chance it can be saved – depending on the severity of the injuries sustained.

  • Call your vet or the nearest vet ASAP – warn them that you are coming in so they can prepare for the patient and get to treating the animal immediately. Keep an emergency after hours vet number on your cell phone at all times just in case! If you are able to estimate what part of the dog was hit and see any obvious injuries tell the vet over the phone i.e. broken leg(s); bleeding; eye damage etc.

An injured animal will be scared and in pain so may try bite – please handle them with care as they are more than likely terrified. Stay calm for the animal.

  • If the dog is breathing with NO difficulty you can muzzle them with a bandage or lead if biting is an issue – DO NOT muzzle if they are experiencing breathing issues.
  • If the dog is having breathing problems remove the collar, open the mouth and check for any obstructions.

Keep the dog warm by wrapping them in a blanket, keep the nose and mouth exposed and carefully transport them directly to the your nearest vet.

  • Try keep the dog as still as possible and cover any wounds with a clean cloth applying gentle pressure to any bleeding wounds.
  • Common injuries following car accidents include: cuts, scrapes, broken bones, head trauma (concussion) and internal injuries including internal bleeding.

Do not give any medications or food or drink.

Depending on the extent of injuries to your dog, he may need to be admitted to the hospital for tests, monitoring and treatment.  The vet may need to perform blood tests, x-rays or ultrasound scans to rule out serious internal injuries.  Your dog may need intravenous fluids (a drip) to counteract shock and will probably be given pain relief and antibiotics.

Disclaimer: these tips do not replace a veterinarian consultation and diagnose. Please report any emergencies to 021 700 4158/9 or a/h 083 326 1604. 

For more info click here