It's always a good idea to be assessed by a doctor after experiencing blunt force trauma. This trauma could be anything that delivered a strong, forceful physical impact to you. You don't know the extent of your injuries, and certain internal injuries can create misleading symptoms that disguise their severity. All of this is equally true for your dog. Your pooch may have had an encounter with a car, or a fall, or another accident causing blunt force trauma. They might seem fine afterwards, but can you be totally sure?
The Physical Impact in Question
Your dog may have had an encounter with a vehicle or could have fallen from a potentially dangerous height. You may have even seen them receive the physical impact in question, and no doubt quickly checked them for injuries. Having found none that require treatment, you might think that no further action is needed. Is this the best way to proceed?
Potentially Critical Internal Injuries
Of course, having observed your dog's unfortunate accident, you'll make a judgment call. Some accidents, even with a lack of apparent injuries, require veterinary assessment. Others clearly don't. In some cases you may be unsure. However, there are a range of symptoms that are major red flags. If your dog should present any relevant symptoms after blunt force trauma, it's a sign of potentially critical internal injuries. Your dog requires emergency veterinary treatment and should be transported to your nearest pet hospital. What should you be looking out for?
Warning Signs for Immediate Veterinary Care
After blunt force trauma where you're unsure about the extent of your dog's injuries, you must observe them closely. Do you know how to take your dog's pulse? This is something that should be periodically done so you know their resting (normal) heart rate. An accelerated heart rate after injury can indicate trauma such as internal bleeding. Similarly, a declining energy level is a clear warning sign, so be on the lookout for sudden bouts of weakness and fatigue. Your dog's breathing may be labored, and their gums and other oral tissues may become pale. Should you notice any of these symptoms, your dog must receive immediate veterinary care.
If you're not totally sure about what constitutes a veterinary emergency after blunt force trauma, call your vet. It's always best to be cautious, and the best way to be cautious is by remembering that many internal injuries are not immediately obvious.