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First Aid for your pet

Category: Practical Advice News | Author: Willie Bromehead |  Date posted:  | Impressions: 126779   11898

First aid for your pet

It’s easy to miss the signs when your cat or your dog has been injured or is hurting. They can’t talk, and as a result, pet owners don’t always know when something is wrong with the animal.

A Pet First Aid Kit is the first step in being prepared should an animal emergency happen.

It can be very unsettling and confusing for pet parents when a crisis with a beloved dog arises, that is why having an emergency Pet First Aid Kit on hand is a great idea. That way, you have supplies available and right at your fingertips to care for your dog until you can get him either to your vet’s office or an emergency animal clinic.

Deal with hurt pets like you would deal with a human emergency: In other words, use common sense!
Most cats or dogs at some point in their lives wind up with an injury or sudden illness that requires immediate attention.

Use the old Boy Scout logic: Be Prepared. One way to plan to be able to care for your pet in an emergency is to put together a Pet First Aid Kit to have immediately available should you ever need it.

You can either create your own kit with some or all of the items listed below, or you can purchase a ready-made first aid kit, and customise it to your pets’ requirements. 
Now, what should the Pet First Aid Kit comprise of or contain?

This is a hard question to answer: It is unlikely that you will find an off-the-shelf Pet First Aid Kit that may be purchased for pets, so by building your own kit, or adding to a pre-prepared standard First Aid Kit, may be the best way to have a kit customized for your pet's lifestyle and needs.

Keep your Pet First Aid Kit in an easily accessible location and let everyone in the family know where it is. If you’re travelling with your dog, it’s a good idea to either bring the Pet First Aid Kit along, or prepare a second first aid kit for the car.
 
Question: How do you build a Pet First Aid Kit for your pet?

Answer: A Pet First Aid Kit is the first step in being prepared should an animal emergency happen. It is also a hard question to answer because I don't think there is a "one-size-fits-all" answer. 

While there possibly are pre-made kits that may be purchased for pets, building your own kit, or adding to a pre-prepared standard First Aid Kit, may be the best way to have a kit customized for your pet's lifestyle and needs.
Pets who take medications regularly should have a couple days supply of all current medications included in the Pet First Aid Kit. (Be sure to check and rotate medications to make sure they don't expire.)  

There are, however, first aid items that are necessary for any Pet First Aid Kit, which I will list here. I have included a description of some of the items to help with your kit choices.

Preparing for an Emergency:

Now is definitely time to prepare and have a plan for our pets (and ourselves) in case of emergency. Usually, we don't like to think of emergencies - they happen to someone else, right? Not always. Even the 'best' pet owners can experience an emergency situation. The more prepared you are, the better your pet's chances will be for a healthy outcome.

Travelling with a pet calls for a careful planning to ensure that your pet has enough food, water, and "security items", such as leashes, identification tags, collars, and a crate or bed. It is also a good idea to bring along water from home to avoid any gastrointestinal upset. Medications, either short-term or monthly, should be packed and quantities checked to make sure that there won't be a shortage or problem with administration of the medication(s). Also, packing favourite toys is a good idea if your pet derives a sense of security or if they are needed for exercise (i.e. ball, Frisbee).

To help care for your animal, pack a Pet First Aid Kit consisting of: 

Band-Aids for small cuts (gently shave the around the area before applying the strip.)

Bandages: preferably the 25mm white medical tape. Easy to tear off and holds well.

Cotton wool or ear-buds: typically readily available in stores: it can be used to pack wounds and in other surgical tasks.

Tweezers: for extracting ticks and also to remove splinters, or other foreign materials from wounds.
Antiseptic cream: over-the-counter "general purpose" antibiotic ointment for light use with minor skin wounds (applied in small diluted doses with cotton wool).
Tea-tree oil: for tick bites and insect stings.
Nail clippers.
Salt/bicarb: to mix with water to induce vomiting of poisons if accidently taken.
Vinegar: for jellyfish and bluebottle stings.
Scissors - for cutting out things matted in fur, or freeing your pet from entanglements.
Sterile eye wash - make sure it is eye wash, and not contact lens solution.

Vet-prescribed pain relief (NSAID) - speak to your vet about obtaining as-needed first aid kit pain relief. Do not use human prescription or over-the-counter pain medications for pets. Some medications, like Tylenol, are poisonous and may be fatal to pets.
Styptic powder: Helps to stop bleeding.
Latex or plastic exam gloves: for your protection and your pet's protection - use when the situation is messy.
  
Rectal thermometer: know the normal temperature for dog and cat vital signs and how to use the thermometer. (Dogs and cats "normal" body temperature range is 100.5 - 102.5 Fahrenheit (38 - 39.2 Celsius.) A body temperature below 100 or above 103F warrants a call to your veterinarian. Cats may become stressed in the veterinary office (or car ride to the office), creating a higher-than-normal body temperature temporarily.

Two sticks can be used as splints if your pet breaks a leg.
Syringe or large eye dropper: to flush wounds or administer fluids by mouth. (Into the animals that is.)
Extra towels, wash cloths and a blanket: use for washing, keeping warm/cool, and if necessary, a way to transport the injured pet (a sling).
Disposable safety razor (for shaving fur from around a wound)
Tongue depressor to examine mouth.
A sturdy box: ideally plastic or metal - to hold all of your supplies and is easy to carry and pack your Pet First Aid Kit in. Pet owners should be familiar with the contents of the Pet First Aid Kit and be able to properly use each item.

Essential Vet and Contact Info:

Common metals used for pet tags are aluminum, stainless steel, and brass, and these identification tags can be bought from any Pet Shop. Your own name, your pets’ name, as well as your address and phone numbers must be on the tag.

As a responsible pet owner, it’s important to ensure that if your pet ever strayed from home or the camp site, that they would be easily identified for a safe return.
Pet health information and your pet’s vital information at your fingertips.
Prepare and make copies of a list including:
Phone number for your vet, the closest emergency animal hospital as well as the name, age, breed, sex, identification about your pet).
Your own name, address and phone numbers.
Your emergency contact person's numbers: in case you are incapacitated.
Keep a copy of your pet vaccination records on hand.
Keep a photo of each pet in case it is needed for ID or other purposes. 
With love, commitment and proper care, your pet will grow up safe and healthy and will enrich every aspect of your life.

A little bit of Trivia.

Did you know? The trees in Siberia are miles apart: that is why the dogs there are so fast.
Bob Hope

Willie Bromehead

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