#Dog Vitals – Normal Heart Rate, Body Temperature, & Respiration

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What is a dog’s normal resting heart rate? What should a dog’s body temperature be? Is your dog breathing too fast? These are questions you may be wondering about if your dog is feeling under the weather and your need a frame of reference or if you notice that your dog’s pulse, temperature, or respiration aren’t what you think they should be. A dog’s regular vitals are different from a human’s, so while your normal temperature might be 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, your dog’s might be completely different. Here are a few normal stats that you should expect to see in healthy dogs.

Normal Heart Rate For Dogs

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The normal pulse rate for dogs can vary depending on the dog’s age and size. The resting heart rates of small dogs and puppies are faster than the heart rates of large or adult dogs. Puppies can have resting pulse rates of 160 to 200 beats per minutes when they are born, which can go as high as 220 beats per minute at two weeks of age. Up to 180 beats per minute may be normal until a year of age. Large adult dogs can have a resting heart rate of 60 to 100 beats per minute, while small adult dogs can have a normal heart rate of 100 to 140 beats per minute.

Heart rate can increase with normal exercise or emotional responses like excitement or stress. This is not often a cause for concern unless it results in health complications or worsens an existing condition. When there are changes in the resting heart rate when a dog is relaxed, it could be a problem. It could be a sign of many serious heart or blood conditions, or it could be a sign that your dog is out of shape and at risk for health issues. If your dog’s resting heart rate is outside of the usual range, it is a good idea to see a veterinarian.

To measure your dog’s heart rate, you’ll need a stopwatch or clock that can show you a count in seconds. You can feel your dog’s heart beat with your hand on your dog’s left side behind the front leg or you can check the inside of the top of your dog’s hind leg. Count the beats you feel for 15 seconds and multiply the result by four to get the beats per minute. You should take the measurement multiple times, as it can vary a bit. You should also do this when your dog is healthy and at rest to establish a normal baseline so you can tell if something is wrong.

Normal Body Temperature For Dogs

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Like humans, the temperature of a dog’s body can vary a bit while still being completely healthy. The usual temperature of a healthy, normal dog is 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which averages out to about 101.3 degrees Fahrenheit. Puppies have a bit cooler normal body temperature between 94 and 97 degrees Fahrenheit until they are about a month old.

There are many health issues or environmental factors that can cause a dog’s body temperature to vary outside of the normal range. When a dog’s body temperature goes above 103 or below 100 degrees Fahrenheit, it is cause for concern. If your dog’s temperature is that far out of the normal range, it is time for a vet visit. Fevers can be symptoms of a variety of conditions that range from mild to life threatening, and overheating can easily occur if a dog is exposed to a hot environment for too long without the chance to cool down. A low body temperature can also be a sign of serious complications or can be the result of hypothermia from exposure to extreme cold.

You can measure your dog’s temperature with a thermometer. Depending on the type of thermometer, you will need to measure rectally or by ear. Rectal thermometers should be used with medical lubricant to avoid injury or discomfort. A traditional glass thermometer should be inserted one to two inches into the rectum for two minutes for an accurate reading. Digital thermometers are easier to use, especially if they are able to read temperature in the ears.

Normal Respiration Rate For Dogs

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The normal rate of breathing for dogs at rest can vary a lot. On average, a dog will take 24 breaths per minute, but it can be as low as 10 breaths per minute or as high as 35 breaths per minute and still be considered normal. This is for resting respiration rate only. Any physical activity or change in emotional state can result in increased breathing rate and still be a healthy response.

There are many conditions that can change the resting respiration rate for dogs. Anemia, heart failure, lung disease, or any other respiratory disorder can cause high breathing rate, as can simply being out of shape and overweight. Shock, poisoning, physical injury, and many other health problems can cause slower or shallower breathing. You should see a veterinarian if you notice a change in your dog’s resting breathing rate. If your dog is panting, breathing very quickly, and has glassy eyes, it can be a sign of overheating, and you should get to the veterinarian immediately.

To measure your dog’s breathing rate, use a stop watch or clock that shows a count in seconds. Count the number of times your dog’s chest rises in 15 seconds and multiply by four to get the breaths per minute. Do this multiple times to get an accurate reading and check while your dog is healthy and at rest to establish a baseline that you can use to measure against later. read more…

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Glucosamine For Dogs?

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Glucosamine is a compound that is produced naturally in dogs’ bodies and is mostly found in healthy cartilage. It can also be given to dogs in the form of supplements, or it can be present in the food that dogs eat. Generally, it is used to treat arthritis in dogs, though it can be used to treat other painful joint and bone conditions, as well. If you are considering supplementing your dog’s glucosamine intake, there are several things you should consider, including the delivery method of the glucosamine, the dosage, and the possible side effects. Here is what you should know about glucosamine for dogs.

What Is Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is a natural compound that is made up of the amino acid glutamine and sugar, called glucose. It is produced by dogs’ bodies and aids in the formation of molecules that make up cartilage in the joints. The compound is necessary for repairing the wear and tear that happens to the joints over time. When the body ages, it produces less glucosamine, which can lead to joint problems like arthritis. Supplementing glucosamine for dogs can help maintain the body’s ability to repair joints.

There are three major types of glucosamine. Glucosamine sulfate is the most commonly used in supplements. It is extracted from shellfish shells or produced synthetically and contains sulfur, which helps in cartilage repair. Glucosamine hydrochloride also comes from shells, but doesn’t have sulfur and has been shown to be less effective. N-acetyl-glucosamine is the the third type and is derived from glucose, which helps in the production of the synovial fluid that lubricates joints.

What Does Glucosamine Do?

Supplemental glucosamine can be used to provide relief from a number of health concerns in dogs. In addition to aiding in the repair of cartilage, it also has anti-inflammatory properties, which helps to further reduce the pain caused by the degradation of cartilage in the joints.

Glucosamine can be used to treat conditions in dogs such as hip dysplasia and spinal disc injury in addition to arthritis. It can also be used to aid in recovery after joint surgery and slow the aging process in joints. N-acetyl-glucosamine in particular can be used to improve and maintain gut health. It does so by aiding in the creation of connective tissues in the gastrointestinal system. This form of glucosamine can reduce inflammation in the digestive system and improve the symptoms of irritable bowel disease.

How Should You Give Your Dog Glucosamine?

Glucosamine is available for dogs in the form of supplements that can be tablets, pills, powders, or liquids. These are usually meant to be given daily. They can be expensive and are sometimes made synthetically, rather than naturally extracted from shellfish shells. Synthetic supplements can sometimes lose their effectiveness more quickly than natural sources. If you decide to give your dog supplements, you should ask your veterinarian about proper dosage. Some dog foods claim to be a source of glucosamine, but the amount they contain is often far less than what your dog needs to maintain joint health.

Glucosamine supplements are often given to dogs along with chondroitin sulfate, which is extracted from the cartilage of cows or sharks, or methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). Chondroitin helps cartilage retain water, and MSM improves joint flexibility and reduces pain and inflammation.

Another way to give glucosamine to your dog is through the food they eat. Foods that are high in cartilage often contain high levels of glucosamine. Trachea, chicken feet, ox or pig tails, beef knuckle bones, bones that have a lot of cartilage, shellfish shells, green lipped mussel, and bone broth are all great sources of glucosamine. You should ask your veterinarian before making any dietary changes for your dog.

Are There Side Effects?

Some side effects have been seen in dogs that take glucosamine supplements. These are generally uncommon and mild, though if you see symptoms that are concerning, contact your veterinarian right away. Here are a few common side effects of glucosamine.

  • Fatigue
  • Insomnia
  • Excessive thirst or urination

read more…

Reduce the Risk of Cardiovascular Disease with Dietary Calcium Supplement

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A recent article in American Journal of Clinical Nutrition has shown that dietary calcium intakes can reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease in Korean women while having neutral effects on stroke and fracture risk.

Nutrition specialists are now recommending calcium supplements for everyone. Calcium is one of the essential minerals which have been shown to be effective in so many cases including preventing osteoporosis and other conditions.

Although some research has demonstrated protective properties of calcium supplementation in cardiovascular disease, this role is not completely understood, and there remains some controversy in the cardio protective effects of calcium.

This study, published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, has evaluated the effect of calcium supplementation on prevention of cardiovascular disease (CVD), stroke, and fractures in a Korean population.  The Korean population has a much lower natural intake of dietary calcium than in the populations of the previous research.

The researchers, using data obtained from the Korean Genome Epidemiology Study, have performed a prospective cohort study with an enrollment of 2,158 men and 2,153 women in Korea. Participants filled out a questionnaire to evaluate their dietary habits and were followed up for a mean time of 9 years. Overall cases of deaths, cardiovascular diseases events, fractures and strokes were recorded during the follow-up period.

Based on the obtained results, during follow-up, 242 and 100 deaths, 149 and 150 cardiovascular diseases events, 58 and 82 stroke events, and 211 and 292 incident fractures occurred in men and women, respectively. Dietary calcium intake was associated with a higher intake of fat, protein, sodium, phosphate, vegetables and fruits. High calcium intake was correlated with a lower cardiovascular diseases event in women.  There was no correlation between calcium intake and stoke, fractures, or all-cause deaths.  In men, there was no correlation between calcium intake and any of the medical events, including cardiovascular disease.

Mechanisms regarding the association between dietary calcium intake and risk of CVD or stroke are not clear and indicate the need for further research before recommendations can be made for calcium supplementation.

Regarding study findings, authors have concluded that in Korean women, an increased dietary calcium intake was associated with decreased cardiovascular diseases events with no influence on the risk of fractures and strokes. read more…

A #dog can make a family feel complete

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Spending More Time with Your Dog as a Busy Mom

It’s easy to say that your dog is your best friend, but have you ever stopped and wondered whether you’re being the best friend to your dog? With your to-do list all filled up every day, you might forget to set aside at least a few minutes for your furry companion. Remember that your dog relies on you to train its body and mind, so it’s only fair to spend some bonding time with your best pal despite being a full-time mom. Dogs require mental and physical stimulation. If all they do is wander around the house waiting patiently for you to take them out, and then they might suffer from boredom and surplus energy. This might very well explain why your dog tends to chew and bark relentlessly. Thankfully, some simple things can help your dog have a wonderful time at home even if you’re the busiest mom out there.

Use a wireless dog fence

As the name implies, you don’t have to deal with any wires when using this pet containment system, making the installation process a breeze. This virtual fence works by using a transmitter which sends a radio signal to an electric dog collar. When your dog goes beyond the designated radius, it will receive a warning in the form of stimuli. Depending on the manufacturer of the invisible dog fence, the stimuli to be used varies.

Why switch to a virtual fence when your physical fence does the job just fine? One benefit is that it gives your dog more space to roam and play around. You have probably seen your dog trying to make its way out of the fence by digging under, jumping over, or chewing through the fence. With a wireless dog fence, you and your dog can move around more freely without worrying that it might leave your property. Just remember to train your dog so that it understands the warning signals sent by the electric dog collar.

Make it work for food

When your baby is crying, the household chores are piling up, and the deadline is sending shivers down your spine, it’s tempting just to grab some dog food and let your dog eat so you can get back to work. However, studies show that animals prefer working for food. One simple trick is to let your dog do some tricks before putting down the bowl.

You can also use a dispensing machine to allow your dog to work its mind a bit before getting its reward. Scattering these toys around the house encourages your pet to hunt for food, which is a good way of simulating the outside environment.

Change routes regularly

It gets boring when you drive along the same route every day. Your dog feels the same way when it walks the same streets. A change of scenery can go a long way in keeping your dog engaged. With new surroundings to please its eyes and stimulate its mind, your dog will surely be grateful for this simple change. read more…

What To Look For In A #Probiotic Supplement

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When people think about bacteria, the first few things that typically comes to mind are dirt, germs, disease and illness. There is not much positive that springs to mind at the mention of the word. However, our bodies are home to trillions of microorganisms that are essential to our everyday health and overall well-being.

Think about this; the human body is made up of approximately 30 trillion human cells and anywhere between 30 and 50 trillion bacterial cells. Essentially, we are made of just as much bacteria as we are human cells. When you consider this important information, it is easy to understand why bacteria are important to our health.

What Are Probiotics?

Probiotics are the bacteria and yeast that live within our body, and are responsible for keeping us and our guts healthy. These are very different to the pathogenic bacteria that cause disease and illness. In fact, this friendly flora travel through our digestive system, protecting us from pathogens, producing vitamins that we need, and making sure all digestive processes are running smoothly.

Probiotics are particularly useful after an illness where you were prescribed antibiotics. These medications can severely deplete the levels of good bacteria in our systems as well as the bad. When the levels of friendly bacteria are reduced, pathogenic materials are able to flourish, causing digestive problems and a whole host of other illnesses.

Choosing The Best Probiotic

Given the importance of the digestive system to overall health, maintenance of the bacteria levels is critical. A poorly functioning gut can mean loss of nutrients and minerals that we need. Because the gut and your brain are in constant communication, the health of your gut is integral to your well-being. A healthy digestive system can therefore mean improved cognitive function, appearance, and reduced depression.

There are so many strains of probiotics, each with their own set of particular benefits, and there is still room for more research. Some can be found in your genital or urinary systems and also in fermented foods, whereas others live as lactic acid in your intestines. When choosing a probiotic, you need to consider your specific conditions as well as what each strand is beneficial for.

The Lactobacillus Family

L. Acidophilus: Great for Acne and Vaginal Health

This probiotic has been used for decades originally as a treatment for constipation and diarrhea in the 1920’s. They are able to colonize in the intestines and promoting intestinal health. Additionally, this flora can treat vaginal infections and inflammatory acne as well as reduce lactose intolerance and the risk of colon cancer.

L. Rhamnosus: Great for Eczema

Studies have found that this probiotic is able to colonize in the gut and is therefore great for treating diarrhea. Also, this particular strain has proven to be beneficial in combating eczema. Studies showed that when taken during pregnancy, children were half as likely to develop atopic eczema as the children of mothers who did not.

L. Plantarum: Great for Inflammation

This probiotic helps to regulate immunity and control inflammation in the intestines. They are particularly useful in providing relief from bloating and abdominal pain in patients suffering from IBS.

L.Casei: Great for Brain Function and GI Support

Another probiotic that shows support for gastrointestinal health, this strain also helps to regulate diarrhea. Recent studies have surprised scientists and health professionals alike as they discovered that this strain helps to relieve anxiety. Supplements of L. Casei have been linked to a significant reduction is anxiety and depressive symptoms.

The Bifidobacterium Family

B. Lactis: Great for Immunity

When you are looking to give your immune system a little boost, this choice has a lot of potential. Research has found that when B. Lactis supplements are taken there is an increase in antibody levels, indicative of a strengthened immune system.

B. Longum: Great for Constipation and Brain Function

A bacterial strain that again helps the brain and the gut, showing just how linked these two systems are. This strain actually colonizes in our bodies from birth and is responsible for producing lactic acid from sugars to stabilize the acid levels of the gut. Regular bowel movements are a product of a stabilized GI tract. Additionally, these supplements have shown an ability to lower stress levels and increase memory.

B. Bifidum: Great for Immunity and GI Support

Over time, stress, diet and antibiotics deplete your natural source of B. Bifidum which will have a negative impact on your immunity. This strain is directly responsible for regulating your body’s innate immune response, so when the levels fall too low, you leave yourself open to infection. Additionally, this flora helps to prevent pathogens from flourishing in the gut, maintaining optimal bacterial balance.

B. Breve: Great for Anti-aging

Spending too much time in the sun not only increases your risk of skin cancer but also prematurely ages your skin. Studies with B. Breve have shown that increased levels actually prevent the UV induced aging and can help to keep your skin looking younger and more hydrated.

The Streptococcus Family

If the mention of this name caused you to gasp, you would not be wrong. Although typically associated with the dangerous bacterial infections, this family does contain some beneficial strains. Streptococcus Thermophilus has shown to possess antibacterial qualities and can prevent certain diseases.

Recent research indicated that the benefits of this flora also reach the skin by improving the levels of ceramides. These are the natural lipids in our skin that protect the underlying tissues from damage. Streptococcus Thermophilus helps to support the ceramides by trapping antioxidants that dry and prematurely age skin.

What to Look For

Now that you know the benefits linked with some of the most common probiotics, you can choose what best suits your needs. Be sure when you are shopping that you always check the label. You want to get ‘live’ bacteria with CFUs (colony forming units) in the billions to ensure you get a potent amount. Additionally check the expiration dates and best by dates. This tells you that your bacteria will be viable through and able to reach your gut while they are still live. There is no substitute for quality, so you need to be prepared to spend a little extra for good probiotics. A typical high-quality supplement will run between $45 and $70.

Once You Are Home

Be sure to keep your probiotics away from heat and moisture, which can kill microbes. A cool, dark place is recommended, especially the fridge. Many strains are delicate and easily damaged by heat, which makes refrigeration ideal. When it comes to taking your probiotics, it is recommended to take on an empty stomach; the earlier in the day the better, with the ideal time being right after you wake up.

read more…

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Why #Breakfast Is the Most Important Meal?

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Mom was right.

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day.

That’s the conclusion of a recently published study designed to determine what effects the timing and frequency of meals has on changes in body mass index (BMI).

Here are some of the researchers’ findings.

What Seventh Day Adventists eat

For the recently published study, researchers spent seven years observing the eating habits of more than 50,000 Seventh Day Adventists, all 30 years of age or older

They gathered data about the number of meals eaten per day, length of overnight fast, whether the subjects ate breakfast, and what time they ate their largest meal of the day.

Then they looked for, and grouped together, similar patterns of behavior.

After adjusting for demographic and lifestyle factors, the researchers calculated the mean changes in BMI for each group.

The study’s authors placed emphasis on the importance of eating breakfast.

“It has been shown that people who usually skip breakfast have an increased risk of obesity and obesity-related chronic diseases. Our study adds to this evidence,” the authors wrote.

They concluded that if you eat less often, do not snack, and make breakfast your largest meal of the day, you will likely lose more weight over the long term than if you do not adhere to those behaviors.

Although this might sound like common sense, the study does validate some of the advice medical professionals offer their patients.

There are some concerns

Dr. David Cutler, family medicine physician at Providence Saint John’s Health Center in California shared his thoughts with Healthline.

“This will not change what I do, but it will reinforce what I already do with my patients,” said Cutler.

Cutler cautioned, however, that he has some concerns about this study.

“The problem with the study is the very select population,” said Cutler. “You’re dealing with very healthy people already, and it’s kind of hard to draw conclusions for the general population.”

Cutler pointed out that, “For example, 93 percent of the people in the study already eat breakfast. That’s certainly not true of my patients.”

While only 5 percent of study participants had diabetes, Cutler believes that number is closer to 20 percent in his patients.

Similarly, Cutler said the same disparity shows up when comparing use of tobacco (1 percent vs. 15 to 20 percent) and alcohol consumption (10 percent vs. 75 percent or higher) against the general population.

As for the largest meal of the day, only 37 percent of study participants said that dinner was their largest meal. Among his own patients, Cutler said it is almost 100 percent.

“So you’re dealing with sort of a skewed population already and that makes it hard to draw conclusions for the general population,” he said.

Cutler acknowledged that, “it [the study] does reinforce the fact that eating calories earlier in the day, and specifically eating breakfast, and avoiding eating a large dinner, probably are healthy in terms of losing weight.”

“However, keep in mind,” he warned, the “amount of weight they’re talking about in this study is truly miniscule.”

Diabetics and others take note

Sarah Diehl, RD, and Silje Bjorndal, MS, RD, CNSC, are both registered dieticians with Orange Coast Memorial Medical Center in California.

They also expressed concern about the somewhat skewed population used in the study.

Diehl agreed that the study’s recommendations might work for its healthier population.

“But with diabetic patients,” she told Healthline, “and with some of the other patients we see in the hospital, we would not be able to recommend having three meals and not having small, frequent meals.”

They also acknowledged the danger of people in general misinterpreting the study authors’ conclusions.

“I think for somebody who doesn’t take the time to look at this study and think about how it applies specifically to them, [following] it could put a lot of pressure on your body to break down a lot of food in the morning,” Bjorndal told Healthline.

This includes, she continued, “getting all the insulin moving, and moving all the sugars into the cells.”

Cutler expressed similar concerns.

“The conclusions really have to be tailored to the individual population that you’re dealing with,” he said. “If you’re dealing with an overweight population, they need to reduce the calories in their diet and follow a healthier diet.”

Moreover, “if you’re dealing with diabetics or high cholesterol patients, or high blood pressure patients, those conclusions have to be directed toward those specific populations and their health problems,” continued Cutler.

Bjorndal noted that “sometimes when we talk with patients in the hospital sense, they may not know what a calorie is, and they may not know how many calories they need in a day.”

To underscore the need for individualized solutions, Bjorndal gave an example.

“If somebody wants to lose a pound a week, you have to cut out 3,500 calories in that week in order to lose a pound,” she said.

Bjorndal also posed a question, “So if you take more of an individual approach, what does that mean?”

“If you’re a 6-foot-2-inch guy who requires 2,500 calories in order to maintain your weight,” she said, “it means you may eat 2,000 calories every day for a week to lose that pound.”

The study pointed out the positive effects of intermittent fasting.

Data show the greatest reduction in BMI occurs when subjects eat a large breakfast, a smaller lunch, and then nothing else until the following day.

“In general, when you start fasting,” Cutler said, “your body thinks you’re starving and it does change your body’s metabolism. And most studies do show help with weight loss, whether it’s being lumped into overnight fasts, or even if you’re going to fast a couple of days per week.”

Mindful eating

“The thing you have to avoid, though, is that after you’re starving, your body really craves eating lots and lots of food,” said Cutler. “So what you do have to do is you have to control your dietary input, and controlling that dietary input means becoming more mindful of what you’re eating.”

Healthline asked Cutler about dietary supplements and whether people should take them when fasting.

Cutler responded, “The thing about dietary supplements is that people who are eating a good diet do not need any dietary supplements.”

“If you’re eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables per day,” he explained, “you’re getting all the vitamins and minerals you generally need.”

There are some exceptions.

For example, “some women should be on calcium supplements,” said Cutler. “And some people, if they’re not getting sun exposure should probably be getting vitamin D supplements.”

Cutler noted, however, that these are two minor exceptions to the general rule that is good for most people. read more…

5 sound tips on wrapping and bandaging a #horse’s leg

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At some point, nearly every horse will need a leg wrap or bandage. But an inappropriate bandage can cause as many problems as a well-applied one can prevent, warns Jeff Hall, senior equine technical services veterinarian at Zoetis animal health. So, before you reach for the nearest roll of VetRap, review these basics:

1. Evaluate the need. According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners, situations where leg bandages are beneficial to your horse include:
 providing support for tendons and ligaments during strenuous workouts
 preventing or reducing swelling after exercise or injury
 protecting legs from impact
 shielding wounds from contamination and assisting in healing

For more severe cases or if you are in doubt, it’s always wise to consult your veterinarian.

2. Keep your horse and yourself calm. If your horse is nervous, frightened or won’t cooperate, you’re not as likely to be cool and calm either. Your horse — not you — may need a little help to calm down.

That’s why Hall advises using a mild sedative. Dormosedan gel is a safe, effective product available by prescription from your veterinarian. It’s an FDA-approved oral sedative to be administered underneath the horse’s tongue via an easy-to-use dosing syringe. Note, however, it’s not labeled for use in a number of situations and equine health issues.

3. Now that all parties are “cool,” clean. “Its best if the leg is clean and dry prior to applying the bandage,” notes Hall. Shavings, straw, dirt and moisture can irritate the skin and increase the risk of a wound becoming infected.

4. Now comes the wrap. Wrap the leg evenly and firmly, but not too tightly. Use uniform pressure, as you want an even distribution of compression along the leg. Uneven tension in a bandage’s securing layers can potentially cause tendon damage.

Avoid incorporating frayed bits of padding that contain wrinkles or bunches. These can cause pressure points under a bandage. Overlap layers of bandage by 50% to avoid having edges of the wrap digging into the leg.

5. Be ready to quickly back off. For safety, avoid kneeling or sitting on the ground while bandaging and wrapping. Instead, crouch and always be ready to move out of the way if necessary. read more…

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