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Hit By A Car: Major Trauma In Dogs

dog hit by car

Accidents Happen

Being hit by a car is one of the scariest things for a pup and their owner.

You wake up, and your canine companion is in good spirits. The weather is perfect, so you go for a walk. As usual, the neighborhood squirrel gets your dog riled up, and he darts after it right into traffic. There isn’t enough time for the car to make a full stop, and they hit your dog.

What do you do now? If you’re like most pet owners, you’ll go into full panic mode.

Luckily, you read this article that outlines exactly what you two are in for in the critical hours after your dog was hit by a car.

Can Dogs Survive Getting Hit by A Car?

As scary as it is, most dogs survive being hit by a car.

According to a study by the NIH, the overall fatality rate of dogs hit by a car is 12.5%. However, the road to recovery isn’t easy. The same survey found that 70% of dogs hit by a car had physical damage that required medical attention. The other 30% showed clear signs of trauma and no bodily injury. But a few days of rest, and a couple scoops of peanut butter, helped the courageous pooches forget all about it.

But here is what you should worry about. Most dogs that are injured by a car break a bone – usually their pelvis. And more worrisome but less likely is internal damage. 27% of dogs injured by cars sustain soft organ damage.

So yes, dogs usually survive being hit by a car, but they should be taken to an emergency veterinarian hospital immediately to get checked out.

How to Get Your Dog to The Vet After Being Hit by A Car?

The moments after your dog is hit by a car, quickly assess the situation, and act accordingly. First, try to determine the extent of the damage. A dog that was just hit usually goes into shock, so be careful around their mouth. They may lash out if they feel scared or threatened.

If your dog can support their body weight, help them get to your car. If not, carefully pick them up and make them as comfortable as possible in your vehicle so there isn’t any further damage on the ride to the veterinarian.

If your dog is too large to pick up alone, ask bystanders for help. If no one is around, try to find a sturdy blanket or towel to act as a sling so you can help your dog get up.

Once you get your dog to the car, call the veterinarian’s office and let them know you’re on the way. If you see any physical damage, let them know ahead of time.

By knowing you’re on the way, the vet will be ready to treat your dog immediately. This can include getting fluids and catheters ready, setting up x-ray machines, preparing an oxygen mask, or getting pain medication.

Once you get to the vet’s office and they assess the damage, they’ll discuss treatment options with you. Usually, you will be required to prepay for any treatments.

Or, if you’re covered by pet insurance, let the doctor know so they can give you the paperwork you’ll need to file a claim.

If you have coverage through Trupanion, give them a call as soon as the doctors are assessing your dog. In some cases, they will pay your doctor directly for the emergency visit.

Real Claim Example

actual trupanion pet insurance claim

Depending on the extent of the damage, an emergency visit to the veterinarian office with a dog that has been hit by a car can cost anywhere from $1,000 to $10,000.

Thankfully, insurance covers up to 100% of the cost related to unexpected emergencies. If you’re not covered, you could be risking financial security or your pet’s life. That’s why we recommend being ready for the worst by getting covered today.

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