First aid

First Aid for your Great Dane

The following advice is a guideline and may not apply to your circumstances. Always consult a Vet where possible. Our Liability is limited. See our Disclaimer for details.


This advice is based on your dog being fit and healthy…
If your dog has just vomited his dinner or, after eating grass, is sick once or twice, there is no need for treatment. However, if this should continue for several hours, stop all food intake, and only give water sparingly. Call the Vet for advice.

Learn more about Bloat


This advice is based on your dog being fit and healthy…
If the faeces are a little loose, then continue feeding as normal, but monitor the dog.

Learn more about Bloat

Split Tail

Great Danes have an annoying habit of wagging their tails against hard surfaces causing the tip to split open.

This is an extremely difficult area to heal, perhaps the following information may help.

If you have a particularly senseless Great Dane who insists on whacking its tail at every conceivable opportunity, redecorating your lovely newly papered walls, try the following to protect the wound.


This is how an experienced Great Dane owner handled a Split Tail

I’ve just been having a good look through the website and found it very interesting and useful. Some very useful tips there. There’s something I can add to the advice on split tails. It’s a method that was passed to us from some Great Dane owners that we met by chance in the middle of nowhere – always the way! Their Great Danes were prone to doing it and had come up with this solution – using foam pipe insulation.

Obtainable from any DIY store in 2 sizes 15mm and 22mm internal diameter – depends on the size of the dog.  It is already partially split along it’s length, so can be opened up to slip over the tail and then taped into place closer to the dog’s bottom, and more loosely taped nearer the sore point.  

Fortunately both our Great Danes never suffered from the problem, but we did have occasion to use it when staying with a very good friend who runs a kennels in Normandy.  There was a Mallinois staying with her on an extended basis whilst awaiting correct paperwork to arrive.   This poor dog had smashed its tail tip and was in a great deal of pain.  It’s owner was in England and frantic and couldn’t get back to France.  Our friend had taken the dog to the vets and the only conclusion they came to was to amputate the damaged part.  The owner didn’t want this done and was adamant about it. But we remembered the foam idea.

We managed to get some foam and set about an attempt.  We treated the sore part with antiseptic and soothing compounds, and then fitted the foam pipe, and after some trial and error, learned to tape it securely further down the tail and well away from the soreness and then putting strips of tape loosely across the split in the foam.  We had cut the pipe just long enough to go beyond the sore point to give some impact protection. We cut away some of the pipe at it’s end so that the air could get to the wound. The advantage by using the foam we realised, was that it supported the whole tail so that it acted less like a whip.

We were staying for some days, so helped to change the dressing every day while we there.  This proved to be a very trying exercise as this poor dog was beside herself in pain, and we had to muzzle her each time to protect ourselves.  I’ve never heard such a big dog actually scream before, and never want to again.  It was horrible.  There were four of us working on her each time, and we all ended up in tears, including a huge South African bloke who was doing some other work, but helped us keep her still until the treatment was done.

To cut the story short, it worked.  The tail healed and was fully saved.  The local vet was apparently impressed, and noted the treatment. The owner eventually was able to collect her and took her back to England.  We had long gone by that time, but were relieved to hear of it.  After that we resolved to stick to ordinary dog duties ……!!!!!!

Split Ears

Unlike the treatment of a tail injury, ears need to be kept soft and moist.

Should a Great Dane (one usually with large flappy ears) have the misfortune to split the edge of its ears, the following treatment should heal the wound.

To cover with a dressing is not practical, besides the logistics of how you keep it in place? Air is the best healer, but obviously not dirt!

If you dry the skin without any creaming, the surface will shrink back and scabs will fall off leaving a ‘serrated’ edge to the ear, which will not re-grow.

This treatment has saved a beautiful Great Dane from having large pieces of ear missing from around the edge.

Cuts and Bleeding

A cut foot pad is one of the most common canine injuries. If the pad is cut by glass while out on a walk, it can bleed for more than 30 minutes.



The following advice is a guideline and may not apply to your circumstances.

Always consult a Vet where possible.

The symptoms of poisoning are usually extremely dramatic; excessive dribbling, loss of balance, respiratory distress, pawing at the mouth, convulsions, and collapse, to name but a few.


Never make your pet sick unless directed by the Vet. (Some poisons would burn its throat for the second time).


When taking your animal to the Vet take the poisonous substance or the container or the dead animal too.


Dogs will eat anything! 



What to do if your dog gets burnt…

In all instances DO NOT APPLY ICE to cool the dog it will cause further burns to the affected area.



Dogs can collapse for a variety of reasons…

Road Traffic Accidents

What to do if your dog is hurt in a road traffic accident.

This must be every pet owner’s worst fear, to see their own or in fact someone else’s pet involved in a road accident. It is a desperate situation, requiring desperate measures. (The following could apply to other animals as well ).

When consulting with a Vet, the RSPCA, and the Police; all have different ideas as to the correct procedure to follow.

Consequently, it is advisable that you read the following information….


The Vet suggests that either the Police or Dog Warden should be contacted in the case of a ‘stray’ dog injured. They have facilities to collect a dog from the scene of the accident. Legally if you bring a dog into a Surgery, or call a Vet to the scene of the accident, you are responsible for the costs. Some practices are lenient regarding costs if the owner cannot be found, i.e. no Identification, no publication of reported dog lost. 


The RSPCA suggests that the Police will go out to an accident and they have lists of Vets that they can call on. Also, the RSPCA have the facility to attend an accident – on call 24 hrs. If the owner cannot be found, they will put the first £50 towards a Vet bill.


If you are unfortunate enough to hurt a dog whilst in a public place and the owner is present, you do not need to report the incident to the police.

  • Do not admit to liability – just exchange personal details, address, and Insurance Company, and that is all. 
  • At all times, consider what you say, or admit to, the dog’s owner may appear to appreciate it was an accident, however their Solicitor may not.
  • If you are unable to afford full Insurance cover on your dog i.e. Vet bills and Third-Party Liability, it is advisable to at least purchase the latter.
  • If the owner is not present and cannot be immediately found, then it is your duty to report the accident to the Police.

However, there are 56 Police forces; each have their own policies on handling accidents involving dogs. Some may have a list of Vets that can be called upon, some Police may come out and assist, the overall impression given, is that you are on your own!

For more information visit 
the national police website

For more information on Road Traffic Accidents and what to do

Regarding the payment of the Vet bill, the RSPCA may possibly pay the first £50 but what about the balance of the outstanding bill? 

If the dog has no microchip and the owner cannot be found, you will foot the bill!  However. the Veterinary Surgery you end up in, may look on the situation ‘kindly’.

Rules must apply now that you have decided to help the injured animal – never put yourself at risk! No one wants to be calling an ambulance as well as a Vet, and only intervene, if you know what to do!

Familiarise yourself now with the following information:
First Aid Knowledge is best learnt before an incident, when there is no time to refer to a book!


If a pet has been involved in a road accident it may be bleeding, unconscious, in shock, nursing broken bones or in respiratory distress.

  • First… in a town or village situation, ask a sensible person to direct the traffic.  If you are alone in the countryside, find something that could act as a warning to oncoming traffic, that you are stationary and there is a hazard in the road; a shopping bag, cushion, coat, opened umbrella, tree branch and put it in the middle of the road. (Also switch on your hazard lights).
  • Now…   Call the police – 999, tell them what animal is injured and the location of the incident.  Also ask for the telephone number of the nearest Vet. (If you hit a wild animal i.e. a Badger or Deer etc., the Police can send out a Gamekeeper to attend).
  • If the police are unable to help, call the RSPCA for help or ask them for the nearest Veterinary surgery.

    24-hour service, Direct line – 0300 1234 999 (This is also their cruelty line).

For more information

First Aid Kit

Essentials for car and home…

Kit for the car:

  • Scissors… curved and blunt ended.
  • Non-adhesive sterile dressings.
  • Sterile swabs… or clean handkerchiefs.
  • Clean tea-towel to use for wadding a deep wound.
  • Sterile saline – ‘Normasol’ purchased from chemist.
  • ‘CO-PLUS’ Flexible Cohesive Bandage.
  • Camrosa ointment.
  • Rescue Remedy drops.

Kit for home:

  • Scissors… curved and blunt ended.
  • Non-adhesive sterile dressings.
  • Sterile swabs… or clean handkerchiefs.
  • Clean tea-towel to use for wadding a deep wound.
  • Sterile saline – ‘Normasol’ purchased from chemist.
  • ‘CO-PLUS’ Flexible Cohesive Bandage.
  • Camrosa ointment.
  • Rescue Remedy drops.
  • Tea tree oil.
  • Pure Lavender oil.
  • Bio-oil.
  • Anthisan cream.
  • Crab-apple (Bach Flower Remedy).
  • Sudocrem.