We just returned from our holiday vacation; which included road tripping with our 4 dogs. Which lead us to the conclusion that one must always be prepared for themselves, their family and their pets. Part of preparedness is having a first aid kit available at all times, that includes items for our pets.
The primary goal of first aid is to relieve suffering, prevent further harm, and/or save a life while waiting on professional health services. First Aid supplies should be in a clearly labeled container; such as a shoe boxes, tackle boxes, tool bags, cosmetic bags, or sewing boxes.
The kits should be stored in a marked area and put of reach of young children and pets. First Aid supplies should be checked and refilled every 3-6 months (depending on usage). Here is a checklist of basic supplies that should be in every pet's first aid box.
Rectal Thermometer: The new electronic kind works best. Electronic ones beep when they are finished registering a temperature, and they are slightly smaller than the glass kind. They can be covered with a thin disposable sleeve to halt the spread of germs. A normal canine temperature id 101 to 102.5°F; (38-39.5°C); normal feline temperature 101 to 102°F (38-39°C). There are also new touch thermometers (to avoid rectal temperatures); however, they may not be at accurate.
Lubricating Jelly to lubricate thermometer and address wound care.
Xylocaine topical ointment for local pain relief and cleaning wounds.
Gel packs for hot and cold compresses.
Adhesive tape to secure bandages; pack both non-stick and waterproof tape.
Blunt tipped scissors (a must for animal first-aid) for cutting hair away from wounds.
Alcohol swabs to sterilize instruments or injured areas of the body.
Antibiotic ointment for wounds (not for eyes). For example, Polysporin for non-puncture wounds.
Cotton swabs (I.E. Q-tips)
Chlorhexidine (Germi-Stat 2%) which is a mild antibacterial soap for cleaning skin and wounds.
Sterile Saline Flush for rinsing eyes or clean wounds (bottled water can be substituted).
Sterile cotton or cotton balls
Sterile Gauze Pads. The 4-inch size is better since it can easily be cut into smaller pieces as needed.
Rolls of gauze or cling gauze bandage (1-2" wide).
Razor Blade can also be used to shave away hair and abrade the skin following a tick bite.
Rubber bulb ear syringe used for flushing eyes, ears, and wounds.
Self-adhesive bandage (i.e. Vetrap) or athletic tape.
Numbers for the Animal Poison Hotline & Poison Control for Pets ( 800/548-2423 or 900/680-0000 both numbers charge a fee). The National Poison Control Hotlines for humans should also be included.
Information card with your Veterinary Emergency Clinic Number
Your pet's baseline medical information: Temperature, Pulse, Respirations and Weight AND any medical diagnosis
A muzzle or fabric to make one; even for the most well-trained animals.
Bubble Wrap for making an emergency splint.
Tissue Glue or liquid stitch which is used for closing wounds in a hurry (i.e. while out of cell service or on a nature hike).
Hydrogen Peroxide to induce vomiting in dogs and cats after a non-caustic poisoning. Use 3% peroxide. Give 1 teaspoon (5ml) per 10lbs every 10 minutes for a MAXIMUM 2 times until your pet vomits. Make sure to contact Poison Control and Veterinary Sevices to assess severity of situation.
Pain Relief for CATS and DOGS. CBD (Cannabidiol). Doses of 3mg/10lbs twice daily during acute injuries is safe for dogs/cats without serious side effects.
Gravol/Dramamine. Up to 50 mg every 8 hours to reduce motion sickness, vomiting (Feline dosage: up to 10 mg every 8 hours.)
Imodium AD 2mg. 1 caplet per 30 lbs every 8 hours to relieve diarrhea. (avoid using if Collie or Collie cross dogs).
Pepcid. This is the antacid famotidine, and it works very well for dogs and cats. Great for pets with upset stomachs. Dose of 2.5mg (1/4 of a 10mg tab), per 10lbs twice daily.
Canesten (Clotrimazole). An effective topical antifungal that works really well for dog ear infections, and many topical skin infections. 1/4 inch twice a day for 5 days.
Miralax. This works extremely well for constipation in dogs and cats. Typical dose of 1/4 teaspoon/ 10-20lbs of body weight twice daily. It is considered one of the safest and effective OTC meds for constipation in our pets.
Obviously, there are individualized items that should be in your pet's kit (especially if your dog has diabetes or a seizure disorder). To make sure our kit is comprehensive, talk to your pet's medical advisor when preparing your kit. In the end, we cannot predict the future; but we can prepare of life's adventures.
Related: CBD for Pain