First Aid for PetsThey can't always tell you when they are hurting
First aid kits are essential that every pet owner has at least a basic kit at hand and knows how to use it.
It’s not rocket science and they don’t have to be grand affairs.
The key to being prepared is being prepared. Even if it’s just the address of the nearest vet, a telephone number, and a space blanket – these high-tech saviours are great for keeping a pet in shock warm until treatment.
Build your own first aid kit:
- Scissors – for cutting out things matted in fur, freeing your pet from entanglements.
- Sterile eye wash – make sure it is eye wash, not contact lens solution.
- Tweezers – to remove splinters, or other foreign materials from wounds.
- QuikClot or similar – to stop bleeding (wounds).
- Tape – preferably the 1″ white medical tape. Easy to tear off and holds well.
- Roll Gauze – used for bandaging, an aid to stop bleeding, and padding for splints.
- Vet Wrap – this is a conforming bandage wrap used over a telfa pad or roll gauze that comes in many colors and two sizes (2″ and 4″ – pick one that best fits your pet). It clings to itself and is semi-watertight.
- Telfa pads – non-stick dressings for bandaging a wound.
- Antiseptic wash or wipes – look for non-stinging preparations such as chlorhexidine or betadine. Rubbing alcohol is not good for open sores or wounds.
- Antibiotic ointment – over-the-counter “general purpose” antibiotic ointment for light use with minor skin wounds. Not for eye use. Caution is advised for animals that may ingest by licking.
- Latex or plastic exam gloves – for your protection and your pet’s protection – use when the situation is messy.
- A muzzle – or materials to make a muzzle. Even the most well-trained animals may bite when injured or afraid.
- Ice and hot packs – cool down skin after a burn or keep an animal warm if hypothermic. Always use a cloth between the pack and skin and check frequently for redness or irritation.
- Extra towels, wash cloths and a blanket – use for washing, keeping warm/cool, and if necessary, a way to transport the injured pet (sling).
- Syringe or large eye dropper – to flush wounds or administer fluids by mouth.
- A list of phone numbers – your regular vet, the emergency vet, animal control, and animal poison control numbers.
- A sturdy box – ideally plastic or metal – to hold all of your supplies and make it easy to carry and pack with you. This will complete your kit.