Do you have a Pet 1st Aid kit?

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  • Sick puppy

    The answer is probably no.  We all know we should have a pet first aid kit but most people feel in case of emergency they will take their pet to their vet or Emergency Vet Clinic and all will be taken care of.  But did you know that a few simple steps en route to the vet or before you transport your pet can make the difference between their recovering and sometimes life or death.

    So the big question is what should be in your Pet 1st Aid kit?  There are many many pet 1st aid kits that can be bought as complete sets online and in the stores, but putting your own together is easy and often less expensive.  So here is what is suggested.

    • Start with a sturdy box, preferably with a handle so you carry it to your car etc.
    • Muzzle – I know your pet is not aggressive and would NEVER bite you, but any animal in distress or pain has the potential of lashing out in ways that are not their normal behaviour.  You cannot help your pet if you are injured yourself.  The Muzzle can be anything from a store-bought Muzzle to a homemade one from a shoe lace, tie, or other long soft material that you can fashion into a muzzle.
    • Emergency Phone numbers – if you have nothing else make sure you have your vet, emergency clinic, animal control, poison control and your pet care companies numbers in the box.  IMPORTANT – even if you have these numbers programmed into your phone, please keep them taped to the lid of the box.  What if, your phone battery is dead and you have to use someone elses phone?  Also even if you are transporting your pet to the vet, give them a call en route or before you leave to let them know you are on your way and the injuries so they can be prepared to give your pet the help it needs.
    • Scissors – for cutting things out that are matted in your pets fur or from freeing your pet from any entanglements.
    • Tick remover tool – this didn’t used to be necessary in our area but now it is.  The sooner you get the tick out the less chance it has of burying deep.
    • Tweezers – to remove splinters or other foreign material.
    • Nail trimmer – to clean up nail in case of torn toenails
    • Stypic pencil or small container of corn starch to stop bleeding from torn nails.. .NOT SKIN WOUNDS
    • QuickClot – or similar product to stop bleeding from wounds.
    • Medical Tape – 1″ white medical tape can be torn with one hand and holds in place well.
    • Roll of gauze – to hold splints in place and bandaging
    • Vet Wrap – this is a bandage that comes in 2″ or 4″ wide.  If you have a small dog get the 2″ larger the 4″.  It clings to itself without the need for clips or tape, is somewhat watertight.  IMPORTANT – it is cautioned not to wrap this too tight.  You can by it at some vet clinic’s (more expensive) or at Feed stores that sell horse supplies etc (for locals, North York Farmers Market on Leslie St in Newmarket sells this)
    • Telfa Pads – these are non-stick dressings to put over the wound before the bandage.
    • Bandage Scissors – these are the scissors with the blunt blade and tip that can easily slide between a bandage and the skin and will not cut the skin.
    • Antiseptic wipes or wash – I think wipes are better as you don’t have to fuss with opening a bottle, having cotton swabs etc.  In an emergency, time is of the essence.
    • Antibiotic ointment – a general over the counter antibiotic ointment for use with MINOR skin wounds.  Like with humans do not use on the eye.  CAUTION if your pet is conscious they may like the ointment use with discretion.
    • Medical exam gloves either plastic or Laytex – for your and your pets safety.
    • Thermometer – Do you know the normal temperature for a dog or cat?  Canine and feline  “normal” body temperature range is 100.5 – 102.5 Fahrenheit (38 – 39.2 Celsius). Feline.  Below 100 or above 103 should be seen by a vet.  IMPORTANT – you will NOT remember these numbers in a crisis.  Again, tape them inside your 1st Aid Kit so you don’t have to try to remember them
    • Water based lubricating jelly if you are using a rectal thermometer.
    • Benadryl or other type of Diphenhydramine in case of stings or allergic reactions. Even if you don’t think your pet has any allergies, they can still react out of the blue.  IMPORTANT – speak to your vet about the dosage for your pet and again write it in the lid of the 1st aid kit.
    • Pain relief – This one I don’t know about, not that I want to see any pet in pain but it is something I think I would personally rather leave up to the professionals.  Speak with your vet about it but IMPORTANT – Unlike some other products like Benadryl that is safe for humans and pets.  THIS IS NOT TRUE OF PAIN RELIEF – Tylenol is poisonous and fatal to pets, so PLEASE discuss this item for your pet 1st Aid kit with your Veterinarian.

    Don’t worry almost at the end 🙂  just a couple of more things.

    • Ice and hot packs – Check these frequently to make sure they are not causing irritation or redness to your pets skin.  Remember a sick pet will not move away if something is too hot or cold and you could do more damage than good.
    •  Extra Towels and Blankets – many purposes, cleaning, washing, spreading out so your pet is not laying on dirty ground, made into sling to transport your pet.
    • Syringe of large eye dropper – can be used to flush out would or administer fluids to the mouth.

    I know you are thinking you are going to need a massive Tupperware container to keep all this in, but no really, at home you always have blankets and ice and cold packs, just remember to put some in your car  if you are away from home, on a hike or adventure with your pet.

    Also keep in mind that you can and should customize this for your specific pets needs depending on the current medical condition, age, lifestyle etc.  For instance if you have a diabetic pet you will want to put some honey in the kit in case they need it. If your pet requires regular medication please put a few extra pills in your kit as even if you plan on being home, you may get delayed.

    Finally – having a pet 1st Aid kit is not enough.  You should be able to know how to properly use all of this in case of emergency, so please take a Pet !st Aid/CPR course.  Poochini’s and I are trying to put one together soon.  I will keep you posted.  Also if you have a SmartPhone I highly recommend the PetTech Ap.  Not only will this walk you through and emergency but you can log all your pets vital information in it so you know what is “normal” for your pet.

    As always any questions or concerns, I am here to help 🙂

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  • 2 thoughts on “Do you have a Pet 1st Aid kit?

    1. Pingback: Hurricane Sandy – Tips for Pet Parents | York Professional Pet Sitting Blog

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