First Aid for Shiba Inu: What To Do

An emergency is a serious and unexpected situation, and this does not only happen with humans but also to your beloved dog. 

And with treatment, every second counts. This is why it’s important to read and know canine first aid, in case of emergencies. 

Remember, first aid care can save your dog’s life, but it is not a substitute for veterinary care. Contact and go to your veterinarian as soon as you can and don’t ever put yourself in danger while you aid your dog. 

What is first aid in dogs?

Similar to humans, canine first aid is the first treatment given to your Shiba Inu in case of a medical emergency. 

The main purpose of first aid is to reduce your dog’s pain until you arrive at the vet. It will never be a substitute for professional help so make sure to always consult your veterinarian. 

What to know

Here are a few things you need to remember. 

Dog’s vital signs

  • Normal Temperature: 101°–102.5°F 
  • Normal heart rate: 70–160 beats/min 
  • Normal breathing rate: 10–30 breaths/min 

When assessing: 

  • Be careful as your dog might bite. 
  • Use rectal thermometers, not oral. 
  • Check heart rate by placing your hand over his chest. 
  • Check breathing rate by observing your dog’s sides or holding a wet finger in front of his nose. 
  • To get the rate per minute, measure for 15 seconds and multiply by 4. 


Shock is when your dog’s body suddenly reacts to a medical condition. This causes a drop in blood pressure that will result in a lack of oxygen supply to their vital organs. 

Simply put, your Shiba’s blood circulation level suddenly drops. This can be caused by trauma, blood loss, allergic reaction, choking, vomiting, diarrhea, or heart failure. 

Shock can be deadly so as soon as you see the signs, immediately go to the veterinarian. 

What are the signs of shock in dogs?

  • Bright red gums
  • Rapid breathing, elevated pulse, and heart rate
  • Dog is showing signs of anxiety
  • Shallow breathing 

Other signs from a later stage of shock can be: 

  • Pale or blue gums, lips, and eyelids
  • Extremely weak or difficult-to-locate pulse
  • Extremely weak and exhausted dog
  • Skin and mouth are unusually cool
  • Unfocused eyes and dilated pupils 

What to do if your Shiba Inu goes into shock

Always the first step to any medical situation is to immediately contact your vet and inform them. 

Until you reach the clinic, you can do the following: 

  • Wrap your Shiba Inu in a blanket to conserve body heat. 
  • Restrain their movement to prevent any more physical damage. 
  • If there is blood loss, apply pressure to the wound. 
  • Make sure his airway is clear and your dog is breathing properly
  • Stay calm and keep your Shiba calm, too. 


A seizure, also known as epilepsy, are abnormal and uncontrolled burst of electrical activity in your Shiba’s brain. This affects how they look and behave. 

Sometimes, seizures can look like a twitch, other times, it’s uncontrollable shaking that can last from less than a minute to several minutes. 

Signs of a seizure

  • Uncontrollable shaking
  • Twitching
  • Drooling
  • Biting
  • Uncontrollable urinating or excreting
  • Falling unconscious
  • Unaware of their surroundings
  • Dazed and unsteady

Seizure is caused by: 

  • Head injuries
  • Strokes
  • Brain cancer
  • Blood sugar imbalance
  • Kidney disease
  • Poison consumption

What to do if your Shiba is having a seizure

  • Immediately contact the vet. 
  • If your dog is near something that could hurt them, like the furniture or stairs, slowly move him away. 
  • Try and stay away from their head. During seizures, dogs have no control of themselves and might bite you. 
  • Monitor the time when the seizure began and how long it lasted. This is information your veterinarian will ask 
  • If a seizure lasts for a long time, it can raise body temperature. Cool your dog down by turning on a fan and wetting their paws with cold water. 


Choking is caused by foreign objects being stuck in the throat, windpipe, or teeth of your Shiba Inu. Another cause of choking is an allergic reaction. 

What to do when your Shiba Inu is choking

  1. Gently pull your Shiba’s tongue forward to inspect the mouth and throat. Make sure he doesn’t bite you. 
  2. If you see a foreign object, try to remove it with your hands, tweezers, or small pliers. Make sure you don’t push the object deeper into the throat. 
  3. Stop if your dog is not cooperating and immediately take him to the vet. 


Dogs can be poisoned the same way humans do. Generally, products that are harmful to humans are also harmful to dogs, including cleaning products and pesticides. 

Usually, these products come with labels that instruct the user what to do in case of exposure. So make sure to check the label. 

If the label says to wash your hands with soap and water if exposed, wash your pet’s skin with soap and water. 

We highly recommend immediately going to the veterinarian if your dog has consumed some. 

Things to remember

A dog injury can cause pain, fear, and confusion for your pet. And these emotions can make them unpredictable and dangerous. 

For your safety, 

  • Don’t attempt to hug your injured Shiba Inu 
  • Keep your face away from your dog’s mouth
  • If your Shiba has turned aggressive and is threatening to bite, put on a muzzle
  • Ask for help when moving your pet

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