Why do you need a pet first aid kit?
Beth and I have collectively groomed for over a quarter century. We know that accidents can and will happen! During that time we have used our kits countless times, sometimes for pets and sometimes for people. In the last year, I used my kit 4 times.
1. Reno, one of my dogs went into anaphylactic shock after being bit by a spider.
2. Myself, after being bit by a dog. (See last article)
3. Beth had an allergic reaction to something she ate.
4. My hubby cut his hand.
Items in the kit are interchangeable between people and pets.
What is important about a kit?
1. That you have one.
2. You must know what's in your kit. There is nothing worse, then experiencing an emergency, tearing off the cellophane of your brand new kit, only to discover you don't have half of what you need.
3. The kit should be well stocked and up to date. Items must be replaced when used and expiration dates kept current. (If you buy a pre-packaged kit, do an inventory and see what needs to be added.)
So, what's in my kit? I keep the items in a large, denim Tinkerbelle bag. Aside from Tink being the "bomb", the bag is convenient when moving from place to place. Other options are fishing (tackle boxes) or craft boxes, which have plenty of compartments for storage.
The items are listed by category, you will notice that some items overlap.
• Adhesive tape
• Gauze pads
• Gauze rolls
• Vet wrap
• Rubbing alcohol sealed bottle
• Hydrogen peroxide sealed bottle
Unsealed bottles have a tendency to leak leaving you with an empty bottle.
• Antibiotic cream
• Providone iodine ointment
• Sanitary napkins (soak up excess blood)
• Bandanas/triangular bandages
These cloths can be used for splinting fractures. They can assist carrying a dog by taking pressure off of an injured limb.
• Sterile solution sealed for flushing injuries.
Unsealed bottles are no longer sterile. Bottled water is NOT a sterile solution.
• Squirt bottle- once used replace
Anaphylactic Shock, Allergic reactions, insect bites:
• Liquid gel antihistamine
• Safety pin
The safety pin is used to puncture a hole in the liquid gel to squirt the antihistamine into the mouth. That is the easiest and most effective method for a layperson to administer antihistamine.
• Plastic card for flicking out stingers.
Do not tweeze them out as you will inject more venom into the host.
• Rubbing alcohol squirted onto pads aids in cooling pet.
• Poison Control Center 888-426-4435.
A note about the following items. DO NOT ASSUME YOU SHOULD INDUCE VOMITING!!! Different situations call for different treatments. You must call poison control first and then follow their directives.
• Hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting
• Activated charcoal to absorb poison
• Baking soda to absorb topical caustic material
• Squirt bottle to administer treatment(s)
• Plastic baggies for vomit or stool samples for vet
• Sterile solution for 1st and 2nd degree burns.
(Do NOT rinse 3rd degree burns.)
• Bandanas/ Gauze to cover burns
• Small flashlight with spare battery to check throat for debris
• Plastic baggies for vomit sample
• Emergency muzzle
If you need to use your kit, your pet is probably in pain. Any pet in pain or being moved into pain, can and will bite!!!
• Digital thermometer and petroleum jelly (They will thank you later)
• Blunt tip scissors
• Eye dropper
• Honey packets for diabetic/hypoglycemic dogs
• Survivor blanket will help keep a dog warm if it's in shock. Not to be used when shock is caused by a heat stroke. Can also be used to carry a small to medium dog.
• Black light/glow sticks can be used to illuminate the most common strains of ringworm. This is not a full-proof diagnostic tool. It is to be used as an aid. Glow sticks have the advantage of being disposable.
• Photos of me with my dogs. The photo establishes ownership should I become separated from my dog(s) while hiking or traveling.
• Unflavored Pedialyte used to re-hydrate stressed pets. It must me unflavored because the other varieties contain artificial sweeteners which can be toxic to pets.
That's my kit. If you have any suggestions or ideas, please let us know. We are always looking for new and inventive items for the first aid kit.