Have you ever thought about what to do if your pet has an emergency that needs some attention as you head to the nearest vet clinic? People keep first aid kits in their homes and work places, but what happens if your furry friend is the one in need of a bandage? Do you have the supplies on hand to quickly bandage a bleeding paw or stop a toenail from bleeding? If not, here are a few tips on how to create your pet’s emergency kit.
You can start making your pet emergency kit by buying a human first aid kit. You can then modify the first aid kit with pet-specific items, or you can start from scratch and make your own pet emergency kit in a bag or toolbox. The first thing you should keep in your emergency kit is your pet’s veterinary information-like who their vet is, the information for the nearest emergency clinic, proof of vaccines (especially rabies), and microchip identification if your pet has one. Also keep a current picture of your pet in here in case your pet was to ever go missing. Other numbers such as the number for Pet Poison Control (ASPCA Animal Poison Control 1-888-426-4335) are also important to have on hand in case your furry friend gets into some of your food.
Next, you should consider keeping handy a way to transport your pet in the event of an emergency. For dogs, having a crate or even just a leash can be vital when an emergency strikes. For cats, having a carrier is essential. It can keep them from harming your or themselves and keeps them contained in the car and in the vet office. If your pet needs to be picked up to go into the vet, a muzzle may be needed. Unfortunately, some pets tend to lash out at others when they are in pain, and no one wants to get bitten while trying to care for your dog or cat. Even the nicest pets can turn violent when they are in extreme pain or discomfort.
Now if you started with a human first aid kit, here is where we are going to make some modifications. Keep the gauze and the triple antibiotic ointment in there, as well as the antiseptic pads or wipes. The Band-Aids in the first aid kit don’t really help with our pets because of their fur, so instead use the gauze and a self-stick bandage material to make a Band-Aid for your companion. Ensure that you don’t wrap the bandage so tight that it cuts off circulation, but you want it tight enough to apply pressure to the wound and slow or stop the bleeding. Also helpful to add is some hydrogen peroxide to clean wounds, an ice pack, disposable gloves, sterile saline, and a rectal thermometer. Checking your pet’s temperature at home can be very helpful if they aren’t feeling well. Their temperature should be between 100.5 and 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
If your pet is having a true emergency, please contact the Animal Hospital at Lake Brandt, or if we are closed one of the local emergency clinics immediately. Keeping the emergency kit on hand is good for minor incidents. Just like for people, the doctor is the best person to treat your pet in the event of illness or injury.
T. Jordan, DVM
The Animal Hospital at Lake Brandt