Ask the Vet – First Aid Kit

Setting-up a first-aid kit can be a great idea as we get into the nice Spring weather and we are more active. My goal is to recommend some basic supplies that can apply to all pet owners. Depending on your needs and activities, you may choose to add even more items that fit your pets’ needs.

Container – look for a solid, waterproof container to keep supplies in. My favorite is the handled plastic totes in the storage container section of a department store. You can also use a smaller toolbox or even a large tackle box.

Phone numbers – keep the phone number of the closest or your preferred emergency clinic right in the box. Also, this is a good place to keep your own doctor’s clinic number in the case of an animal bite. Having those numbers pre-programmed on your cell phone is another option.

Bandage material – having some basic supplies for those minor cuts and scrapes will be the most used supplies of your first-aid kit.

Vet-wrap (lots of colors available) in 2 and 4 inch widths

Gauze pads like Telfa non-stick pads and/or non-sterile 4” x 4” pads are a must

Stretch gauze rolls – in 2 or 4 inch size. This can also be used as a make-shift muzzle

Adhesive tape for securing bandage material and Bandage scissors

Styptic powder for those broken nails, or nails that were cut too short.

Antiseptics like iodine (Betadine) or a chloahexadine (Novalsan) solution are used for cleansing wounds.

A bottle of irrigation solution or at least a bottle of sterile saline for cleaning contacts (not the no-rub storage solution) is used for flushing afterwards and alcohol wipes may be used after flushing.

Triple antibiotic cream or ointment (only for dog, cats or ferrets).

Hydrogen peroxide for cleaning wounds or possible inducing vomiting (contact an emergency clinic before doing this to make sure it is safe to do so).

Tweezers or forceps for removing splinters or even ticks.

Petroleum jelly and a digital thermometer that is dedicate to pet use.

Clean towel or several sheets of a durable paper towel for clean-up or controlling bleeding.

A blanket for stabilization and restraint, an extra leash and possibly a muzzle.

Treats or a pop-top canned food to help them relax.

For a ferret first aid kit always include some Karo syrup in this place for hypoglycemic attacks.

A pair of rubber or exam gloves for you to wear.

A flashlight or penlight.

Cold and Hot packs are an optional item.

A first Aid booklet and instructions on animal CPR can be purchased or downloaded from the internet.
While this may seem like an overwhelming amount of items to keep in a kit, you will be glad to have them at hand if you ever need them. Hopefully, you never do.
Dr. Carla Christman D.V.M. – Healthy Pet