What Constitutes an Emergency?
As you've already read, many conditions require a trip to a vet. So how does an emergency differ? An emergency is any situation that is immediately life threatening to your boxer, such as being hit by a car, having seizures, being injured in a bad fight, being bitten by a poisonous snake, collapsing, or any number of other things. As with common injuries and illnesses, if you have any questions, you are best advised to get your boxer to a vet immediately.
What to Do in an Emergency
If your boxer has experienced serious trauma, you need to determine the following:
Are there any broken bones, severe contusions, or a blocked airway?
Is your boxer bleeding profusely? If so, is it from one localized cut, a scrape, or has a major artery or blood vessel been punctured?
Are the gums pale, possibly indicating severe shock or internal bleeding?
If any of these conditions is evident, call your vet with an explanation. Calling ahead will alert them to be ready for your emergency, which will save time once you arrive.
If you have any questions concerning a possible emergency situation, you can check your boxer's heart rate. Normal for an adult is between seventy and 160 beats per minute at rest, slightly faster for puppies. An adult's normal rectal temperature is between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, and slightly higher for puppies. If either measurement is too high or too low, a visit to the vet is in order.
Natural Disaster Emergencies
Natural disasters can cause a difficult situation for both you and your boxer. Are you in an earthquake zone, a wildfire zone, tornado alley, or a hurricane zone? If so, take extra precautions to prepare food and veterinary supplies in case you are evacuated from your home for any reason. If you are separated from your boxer during a natural disaster, you will want to search for him as soon as you safely can. Animal shelters and boxer rescue groups are good places to start.
Although it is a good idea to have a license and tag on your boxer that lists your name, and the name of your vet as contacts should your boxer be lost or separated from you at any time, having your boxer microchipped is also a good idea since collars can be lost or removed. Microchips are tiny pieces of traceable material including numbers that can be registered with a number of different national registries. This is proof of your boxer's connection to you.
If Something Happens to You
The final emergency to prepare for is the one that includes something happening to you. What becomes of your beloved boxer? Be certain that you either have a will or a trust that will tell your estate what is to be come of your beloved boxer. This may seem extreme, but of all the boxers that go into rescue each year, the saddest are those that have lost a loving family or home through the death of an owner.
Some boxer owners arrange trusts for their boxers to ensure that their dog's health, home, and well-being will continue and will be honored until the boxer is no longer living. Then and only then can the estate be distributed to human inheritors. More and more attorneys and estate planners are willing and capable of preparing such a legal trust for your boxer.
You can arrange for a perpetual trust that takes care of your boxer until he dies. Alternately, you can will your boxer to a loving friend or relative who will care for him, or you can designate that he go to a rescue where you know a wonderful home will be found for it. Some reputable breeders insist that the boxer be returned to them if anything happens to you, so you need to make those wishes known to your estate as well. The executor of the estate, which could possibly end up being someone you do not know, can then make arrangements for your boxer to go back to the breeder or elsewhere.
Since your boxer cannot take care of himself, you must take proper precautions in the event of an emergency.