Sunday, July 15, 2012

Dog First Aid Kit: What's In Yours?

At home, first aid kit isn't really on our minds—over the years, we became equipped almost like a small pet pharmacy. When we travel, though, having a well-equipped first aid kit is very important to me.

Photo Heather Sorenson
I always hope that I won't need any it but I believe it is like with an umbrella - if won't rain if you have one.

The first thing on my checklist is knowing where a veterinary clinic and veterinary emergency is at our destination. If there was an emergency, trying to find a hospital would be waste of precious time. I also always have Jasmine's vet's phone number with me. Having an animal poison control phone number handy is also a good idea.

Pet Poison Helpline 800-213-6680

I would also recommend taking some of your dog's medical records with you.

Our vet is using web-based records, which we can access any time, anywhere. Very handy!

We also always make sure we have all Jasmine's prescription medications and supplements to last us for the length of the trip (and like to have some extras just in case). Besides medications Jasmine is on I like to include some metronidazole (in case her IBD flared-up), Tramadol (for pain management), and couple prednisone tables. That is kind of funny because I fight putting her on that tooth and nail but it still makes me feel better to have some just in case. Note: I would never use any of these without discussing it with Jasmine's vet first.

Other than Jasmine particulars, the following are things I like to have in my dog first aid kit:

Thermometer - ever since Jasmine's drug-induced hyperthermia disaster I am acutely aware how important this vital sign is. Personally, I have both an ear thermometer and a rectal thermometer. I realize that the ear one isn't the most accurate thing but we found that average of multiple measuring corresponds with what the rectal one reads. So I use the ear thermometer to get a rough picture and the rectal thermometer when the situation warrants accuracy.

Don't forget to pack some lube with your rectal thermometer; water-based lubricating jelly.

Muzzle - even the most mild-tempered dog can bite when in enough pain. I haven't had that happen with my dogs, but hubby certainly bares his teeth when he kicks a piece furniture the wrong way. A improvised muzzle can be made from a scarf or a stocking.

Scissors - not something that would jump to mind when thinking about dog first aid kit but you might need to cut things matted in fur, cut a tape or gause; it is a handy thing to have handy. I prefer a pair with blunt tips.

Tweezers - to remove splinters or other foreign materials

Tick removal tool - we got the TickTwister and never looked back. Of course there are other products out there, just make sure you have something to remove ticks safely.

Toenail trimmer - to clip torn toenails.

Sterile eye wash and ear wash - pretty self-explanatory; for ear wash we just pack the one we use for routine cleaning.

QuickClot - to stop bleeding

Gauze, telfa pads (non-stick wound dressing), Vet Wrap (very handy, it clings to itself and it is semi-watertight, adhesive tape.

Antiseptic wash or wipes - we carry betadine. I do pack rubbing alcohol also, but not for wound treatment but in case Jasmine needed quick cooling (I am really paranoid about hyperthermia.

Hydrogen peroxide -  in case we needed to induce vomiting.

Antibiotic ointment - we usually have polysporin.

Protective gloves - latex or plastic

Syringe or a large eye dropper - we got one from our vet when Jasmine needed to be force-fed.

Benadryl - for stings and allergic reactions

Ice and hot packs - of course this only works if you have a way of charging them. Most of the time we can charge the ice pack, as we also always have a cooler with Jasmine's food on ice; a hot pack not so much.

Extra blankets, towels and cloths.

There are other things we like to bring along but those don't really qualify as first aid kit content. Things such as grooming tools, itch relief spray, medicated shampoo, bear bells (yes there are bears at Jasmine's ranch)...

What is in your dog first aid kit?

Further reading:
How do you build a first aid kit for your pet?
Preparing for Animal Emergencies: The First Aid Kit
Dog Tip: First Aid Kits and Emergency Treatments - Prepare Now!

4 comments

  1. Glad you remembered the muzzle. Many dogs will become aggressive when injured badly, in an effort to keep up from messing with their painful areas. Even our most affectionate pets may not be themselves when seriously hurt. This is important.

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    1. Yes, it is. We have a muzzle we got after Jasmine's knee surgery to use just in case at early stages of her PROM.

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  2. We have a first-aid kit (and keep all of Desmond's records handy), but it is not as comprehensive as yours. Thanks for the tips about things we hadn't thought to include yet!

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    1. Great stuff. As I said in the article, I'm hoping never ever to need any of those things (though the thermometer does get used from time to time and so did the tick twister etc). But it's better to have them and not need them ... right?

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