Pet First Aid

Your pet is a part of your family, right? Wouldn”t you want to do everything possible to make your pet”s life a long and happy one? Well, this world is a dangerous place. Dangers lurk everywhere, from speeding automobiles to the hot sun. One unfortunate moment and your pet may be seriously injured. And what if you can”t get to the vet any time soon? Your pet”s lying there, helpless, and for all you know, its condition may be life threatening.

Your grasp of first aid and CPR can be critical to your pet”s well-being. Just knowing that you can handle emergency situations will give you some peace of mind. In an emergency, your pet will sense that you”re calm and confident, and he is more likely to allow you to dress or clean a woundat least more likely than if you were screaming and panicking.

While knowledge of first aid can help save your pet”s life, you should always call your vet. Your vet is the foremost authority on the health of your pet, so get medical help as soon as possible. Your pet will thank you for it.

So, what items should you have on hand in a pet-specific first aid kit? For all animals the general kit should contain:

  • your veterinarian”s phone number
  • a blanket
  • roll of gauze bandage
  • bandaging tape
  • gauze sponges
  • non-stick Telfa pads
  • saline solution (for flushing wounds and eyes)
  • tweezers
  • scissors.

If you are traveling with your pet you should also include your pet”s health and/or vaccination record, extra food and water, bowl(s) and a spare collar and lead.

If you are a fieldsman and take your dog or horse on hunting trips with you, also consider adding the following items (which you can also use should you be injured):

  • styptic powder (to stop bleeding, as with torn toenails)
  • topical wound disinfectant ointment/cream
  • elastic bandaging tape
  • waterproof bandaging tape
  • topical antibiotic ointment
  • iodine (Betadine) prep-pads or flush (to clean wounds)
  • apomorphine (a fast acting emetic) or syrup of ipecac
  • skin staple gun or suture materials (to close minor wounds)
  • men”s cotton tube sock (can be used to pin an ear with a laceration to the head)
  • wire cutters
  • sedative/tranquilizer (for use should you need to sedate your dog during transport to the vet)
  • topical anesthetic (use if wounds require suturing).

Remember that an injured animal will be in pain, so use caution when examining or treating an injury. For severe injuries contact your veterinarian immediately for instructions.

This section is divided into multiple articles, covering topics such as CPR and pet ailments, with both also listed in the menu to the right. To research other pet topics, please use the morefocus search tool, or see the related topics listed right.