Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Be Prepared for Emergencies With a First Aid Kit

I get a newsletter from Dr. Jon every day. Some of his information is really worth hearing and I thought I would pass this along. These are just suggestions. Please check with your vet for information concerning your specific situation.
Misti Fry

Create a First Aid Kit that Could Save Your Dog's Life

Take some time out and create your own doggy first aid kit. If they could thank you, they would.

Chances are, your family knows exactly which cabinet to turn to at the sight of a runny nose, a splinter, blood, or tummy ache. But when your dog is in need of more than a scratch behind the ears, are you ready? Proper preparation is the best tool to arm yourself with in case of a pet emergency. A pet first aid kit is a smart, personalized, easily created resource that will prepare you to think quickly and logically.

Below, the Animal Medical Center in New York shares what should be readily available now to aid in quick thinking for the future.

It's all in the bag

It's a good idea to put everything related to your pet's health issues in one, easily accessible bag. A clear, plastic tote is a smart option; you can place emergency numbers on the inside facing out for quick retrieval, and the flexible bag makes storage easier than a rigid box.

Reaching out

The most vital emergencies are the ones where you'll need outside assistance. Make sure that essential emergency numbers are the easiest to find. If you don't already have an emergency card number, write the following on an index card:

 Animal Poison Control Contact Info

 Your dog's regular veterinarian

 Local Veterinary Emergency Animal Hospital Information

 Emergency Pet Taxis (for urban areas...many taxis don't allow animals)

 Pet's health records in case your vet is not available

 Your dog sitter or boarding facility

 Your dogs microchip number

The Prep Work

You may be able to lessen the impact of an emergency by simply being well prepared. Start by buying a book on dogs... the knowledge you'll gain from this information may help when you really need it. **My favorite one is Dr. Liisa Carlson's book The Dog Owners Home Veterinary Guide. There is one geared for cats too.

First, pay special attention to the list of substances commonly found in your home which are toxic to your pet. Keeping a "thumbs down" list handy will allow swift action in case of accidental ingestion.

Secondly, travelers should make a copy of their pet's medical records that stay with the animal at all times, in case the vet or sitter isn't as familiar with your pet as your family. Additionally, a blanket or large towel can be a lifesaver for a cold pet, a transporter for a large dog, or a bandage for an injured or bleeding leg.

Lastly, make sure you have leashes available by each door so that you can control your dog if needed or an emergency arises.

The local red cross does offer a pet CPR and first aid class. Check with them for a current class schedule.

Dr. Mom

Many minor injuries can be self-treated with proper knowledge and equipment. These supplies can be used to help in a pinch until you can get to a veterinarian. For example, if your dog has a laceration, a temporary bandage can help control bleeding until you get to your vet.

 Tweezers: For splinter or foreign object removal

 Nail trimmer: Ask your local pet supply store for the style of trimmer right for your pet.

 Scissors: Handy for hair clumps and foreign object tangles. Take special care not to cut the skin – this can be accidentally done.

 Betadine Sponges: For cleaning of cuts and wounds, to be used with an antibacterial cleanser

 Sterile Vaseline for eyes: If you're bathing your pet, this will prevent soap and water from getting in their eyes

 Saline Solution: Regular human contact lens saline solution can be used to flush out dirt, sand, or other irritant - just gently squeeze the contents directly into the eye.

 Peroxide: To only be used to induce vomiting when Animal Poison Control says to do so. You should call Animal Poison Control when your dog or cat has consumed something from the "no" list. Not to be used for cleaning wounds.

 Triple antibiotic ointment: To place directly on a cut

 Sterile telpha pads (no stick): Sticky bandages and fur don't mix. Wrap the wound with the nonadherent pads before placing on the bandage.

 Bandages

**In our classes we demonstrate using a plastic bottle that has been cut off and taped to help breath for the dog when doing CPR. If you want more info on this email me.

Remember, proper immediate first-aid is only the first step in the treatment of a dog injury or emergency. While your intervention may prevent serious harm, you must always seek veterinary care as soon as possible to assure the best outcome for your companion.

This article in full is at:


  1. Thanks for spreading the word on pet toxicities and pet safety your blog - so important for pet owners to be aware of the lurking household poisons in (and outside of) their house! As an ER specialist, I see so many toxicities that owners bring in too late (making it more expensive to treat, with a worse prognosis!). When in doubt, it's so important to call a Poison Control for peace of mind!

    I wanted to make you aware of another important resource out there also - Pet Poison Helpline is an additional Animal Poison Control Center, and it's one of the most cost-effective animal poison ($35/case vs. ASPCA's new $60/case) controls out there nowadays. Unfortunately, because animal poison controls are not federal- or state-funded, there is a fee to allow the service to be run 24-7. We provide a similar service, but have the added benefit of veterinary specialists (in internal medicine and emergency and critical care) as part of our staff. You can always call 1-800-213-6680 if you ever have a problem. Thanks for spreading the word!

    You can also find some helpful first aid information at our website:

    Dr. Justine Lee, DVM, DACVECC
    Associate Director of Veterinary Services

  2. An insightful post on Springfield Side Kick Dog Training Blog
    I did come across a website It’s has all information on first aid emergencies. It has information on Human emergencies and even for pets like cat or dog. Hope it help you guys too.

    Signature: Online First Aid Kit