Dog Tip: First Aid Kits and Emergency Treatments - Prepare Now!
Those who have faced emergencies can tell you it is essential to get your first aid kit together and get familiar with first aid measures BEFORE you are confronted with an accident, emergency or sudden illness. Many situations require fast and correct action to prevent further injury, infection or death. So assemble a first aid kit now, so that you'll be ready when your pet (or a human) needs immediate help.
Be sure to read through the First Aid Kit list that follows. It will give you an idea of the situations that can and do come up. Being prepared can keep a manageable incident from becoming health-threatening. It will reduce the chance of infection and further complications...reduce stress for everyone...cut recovery time...and empower you to effectively help. Being prepared can even make the difference between life and death.
FIRST AID KIT
Keep a first aid safety kit on hand at home and in your car. Take the one from your car with you when you travel with your pet.
Each kit should include the items listed. It might sound like a lot of stuff, but when an accident occurs, these items can help you save the health or life of an animal...or a human.
Waterproof Kit Container:
Write on the container, in indelible ink, the phone numbers for your vet, the closest emergency animal hospital, and poison control hotlines. Also list your own name, address and phone numbers.
First Aid Guides:
Animal first aid book, such as Dog Owner's Home Veterinary Handbook.
CPR for Dogs
Essential Vet and Contact Info:
Prepare and make copies of a list including:
Phone number for your vet, the closest emergency animal hospital, and poison control hotlines (such as the 2 listed in this tipsheet).
Your own name, address and phone numbers.
Your emergency contact person's numbers, in case you are incapacitated.
The name, age, breed, sex, identification (such as microchipping information), and any health problems (especially useful information if your petsitter or emergency contact needs to call an emergency medical service about your pet).
A copy of your pet vaccination records.
Photo of each pet in case it is needed for ID or other purposes.
Tweezers (flat slant tip instead of the rounded variety)
Sterile needle (to remove splinters and tick heads)
Turkey baster or bulb syringe (for flushing wounds, force feeding)
10cc syringe with no needle (for administering medications)
Tongue depressor to examine mouth
Rectal thermometer (normal body temperature of dogs and cats is 100.5 to 102.5 F; take your pet's temperature under normal conditions to get a baseline for comparison in case he gets sick or injured)
Disposable safety razor (for shaving fur from around a wound)
Towel (at least 2)
Blanket (the compact thermal blanket works well; uses include keeping an injured animal from going into shock)
Bandanna and/or nylon stocking (many uses, including muzzling or securing a torn earflap)
Strips of cloth
Dog booties or little socks (to cover wounded paws or to protect so you won't need to treat)
3x3 sterile gauze pads
Rolled gauze (for bandaging, stabilizing joints, making a muzzle)
Adhesive first aid tape (in narrow and wide widths)
Bandages (including self-clinging or vet wrap and waterproof types)
Vet wrap, which sticks to itself but not fur.
Anti-bacterial wipes or pads
Hydrogen peroxide 3% USP (to induce vomiting and to use on infected wounds; check the expiration date from time to time and keep only fresh solution in your kit)
Activated charcoal tablets (effective in absorbing many toxics)
Betadine solution (a type of antiseptic iodine medicine for wounds to deter infection)
Antibiotic ointment (such a Neosporin)
Rubbing alcohol (apply on skin as body cooling agent to aid heat stroke or fever; helps break down oils; acts as a drying agent between toes and skin folds; but do not use on wounds as it can damage skin and is not an appropriate antiseptic)
Bag Balm (especially useful for treating paw pads)
Petroleum jelly (helpful aid for taking temperature)
Sterile saline eye solution (to flush out eye contaminants and wounds)
Artificial tear gel to lubricate eyes after flushing
Eye ointment with no cortisone
Epsom salt (mix 1 teaspoon in 2 cups of warm water for drawing out infection and bathing itchy paws and skin)
Baking soda (good for soothing skin conditions)
Styptic powder (to stop bleeding of torn toenails, etc.)
Milk of magnesia (for stomach upset and certain types of poison ingestion)
Pepto Bismol (for stomach upset and some types of poison ingestion; do not give to cats)
Benadryl (for bug bites and stings and other allergic reactions. Use plain Benadryl, not the other formulas.
Gentle pet sedative such as Rescue Remedy (available at GSDsite.com. Rescue Remedy is a Bach flower essence available in most health food stores. This gentle, natural stress reducing liquid can often help both people and animals recover from injury, fright, illness, travel fatigue and irritation. Put a drop in your water bottle and in their water. To help prevent travel sickness, a common dosage is four drops in the mouth about ten hours before the trip, repeating every four hours as needed. For stressed or injured animals, rub a drop on their ear or put a drop on the towel in their crate or carrier. Flower essences can be used along with conventional medicine.
Aspirin Buffered (for dogs only, 1 tablet per 60 pounds; do not use acetaminophen or ibuprofen; do not give aspirin to cats; since aspirin and other pain relievers can be toxic to any pet, consult your vet and first aid books)
Can of soft pet food (can help reduce the effect of a poisoning)
Mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid such as Dawn (to clean contaminated skin or sticky substances)
Muzzle (an injured or scared animal may try to bite)