All Better: Putting Together A Pet First Aid Kit

Cute border collie puppy with an emergency kitYou probably have plenty of first aid supplies in your medicine cabinet, especially if you have children. Bandages, antibiotic ointment, thermometer, and over-the-counter pain relievers are among the most common first aid items found in our homes.

But what if your pet were to be injured? Would your home contain the necessary pet first aid items to help your pet if he or she is hurt? Fortunately, putting together a simple first aid kit for your furry friends is as easy as making a trip to the store to gather supplies. Your pet will thank you!

Your Pet First Aid Checklist

Stock your pet’s first aid kit with the following basic items:

  • Important phone numbers: Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital (570-424-6773), poison control hotline such as ASPCA’s (1-800-426-4435)
  • Pet first aid book
  • Non-stick bandages, towels, or strips of cloth (never use human-grade adhesive bandages) to control bleeding.
  • Adhesive tape for bandages
  • Gauze
  • Cotton balls or swabs
  • Sterile saline solution
  • Digital “fever” thermometer and petroleum jelly for lubricant– A pet’s temperature must be taken rectally, over 103°F is considered a fever.
  • Eye dropper (or large syringe without needle) to flush wounds or give oral treatments
  • Muzzle (rope, small towel or cloth, necktie, or nylon stocking in an emergency) to cover your pet’s head if necessary. Never cover the head of a pet that is vomiting.
  • Leash for transport, unless pet is too injured to walk
  • Stretcher to transport an injured animal (a blanket, floor mat, door, sled, or board can be used in an emergency)

Keep your pet first aid kid in an easily accessible location in your home, and bring it with you anytime you travel with your pet.

There’s An App For That

The American Red Cross now has a free pet first aid app for Apple and Android. Add this to your apps for fast and easy answers to the most common pet first aid problems.

A Word About Porcupines

Porcupine quill injuries are common in our area and this year we have already seen several patients suffering from embedded quills. Keep the following in mind if your pet finds him or herself the victim of a quilling:

  • Keep your pet from pawing at the quills, as this will only cause them to break off or become embedded further.
  • A quilling should be considered a medical emergency. Call us immediately. Most of the time, a pet must be under anesthesia for proper quill removal.
  • Do not attempt to remove the quills yourself! This may traumatize your pet, and you may not be thorough enough. In some cases, quills can migrate to various major organs, causing irreparable damage, so your pet will need to be seen by a veterinarian.
  • Make sure your dog is fenced or on-leash at all times, but especially in the early morning and late evening hours when porcupines are most active.

Your friends at Barton Heights Veterinary Hospital want you to feel confident that your pet’s first aid needs are covered should he or she receive an injury while at home or away. If you have any questions about pet first aid, don’t hesitate to contact us.