Being Prepared

January 9, 2010 at 11:27 pm 11 comments

A year ago I blogged on how to create your own pet first aid kit. Since then I’ve had requests to provide details on my own kit. We’ve got a pack of healthy medium-sized dogs here now so I decided that our pack is average enough that details on my kit may be helpful to others.

A toiletry bag is a cheap, easy way to pack a lot of small things up in a clean, organized way. Frantically searching through a big, open bag when you’re in a panic is a great way to make a bad situation worse. Look for a bag that closes up securely and has lots of pockets.

There are a lot of things in this kit. I usually keep it in the house and take it with me when I go on a road trip. It’s not the kind of kit you’d take on a short hike.  Supplies in the kit are used for dogs and people. Since the dogs aren’t mucking around in the kit themselves, it stays clean. To help keep it that way, things that need to be sterile are kept in sealed containers and small items are kept in pockets or zip-loc bags.

A – Baby wipes
B – Vet Wrap
C – Ace Bandage
D – Gold Bond Powder
E – Flashlight

I keep bulky items in this largish outer pocket. The flashlight, vet wrap and baby wipes get used fairly often so I like to keep them handy.

A – Graduated syringes (no needles)
B – Digital Thermometer
C – Tweezers
D – Hand Sanitizer
E – Emergency Phone Numbers
F – Pocket Knife
G – Emergency Flasher

There are several different pockets, slots and daisy chains on the inside of the kit.  I put things that are odd-sized or used more often in this outer area. The graduated syringes are nice for irrigating wounds, ears and eyes. They’re also handy for giving oral medications. I’ve labeled the thermometer “anal” on the case and on both sides of the thermometer itself. This is one item we don’t share with the dogs.

We carry emergency phone numbers (regular vet, emergency vet, regular doctor, and an emergency vet in the area where we’ll be staying) in the kit. This information needs to be in a place where you can find it even when you’re in a panic. We also carry inoculation records and a hard copy photo of each dog in a thin side pocket of the kit. If your dog gets lost on the road, you want to be prepared to make lost and found posters right away.

Photos of the kit’s contents are labeled to identify the contents. Click on any photo to see it bigger and in high-resolution. 

A – Bulb Irrigator
B – EMT Gel
C – Benadryl
D – Betadine
F – Cardboard Matches
G – Safety Pins
H – Spare Leashes
E – Latex Gloves

EMT Gel is not the same thing as superglue. Super glue is the trade name for a type of cyanoacrylate adhesive. EMT Gel contains collagen proteins that aid clotting, seal nerve endings and provide a moist, semi-occlusive barrier that protects wounds.

Benadryl is handy for allergic reactions, motion sickness and as a mild tranquilizer. Check with your vet before uisng it if your dog is on prescription medications.  Betadine is a topical antiseptic.

The cardboard matches can be used as suppositories. The leashes can be used to hold extra dogs, open a body-gripping trap or muzzle a large dog.

A – Eye Wash (boric acid)
B – Adhesive Tape
C – Instant Cold Pack
D – Sterile Gauze Pads
E – Styptic
F – Sterile Gauze Rolls
G – Hand Sanitizer
H – Alum
I – Sterile Compress
J – Pocket Knife

This side of the kit contains a mix of generic bandaging and blood control supplies. Alum and styptic are two different versions of the same thing. They’re used to stop minor bleeding. I took the alum out because I decided I’d rather use the space it took up for other things.

A – Tegaderm
B – Smelling Salts
C – Large Bandaid
D – Sting Kill Wipes
E – Antiseptic Wipes
F – Misc. Bandaids
G – Candied Ginger
H – Nitrile Gloves
I – Zymox Ear Drops
J – Burn Gel
K – Imodium
L – Electrolyte

Miscellaneous small items are stored in ziploc bags to keep them clean and organized. There are different types of small bandages and some burn gel here. Ginger can help mild car sickness. The imodium is another thing I’m taking out. I’ll replace it with kaolin-pectin because it’s cheaper and safer. Tegaderm is a breathable, conformable dressing that sticks to a wound. It’s impregnated with an antimicrobial silver compound.

After going through the kit (something I recommend you do at least once a year) I decided to take a few things out as noted above. I also decided to add a some things. The kit now includes 200 ml nalgene bottles of dilute hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting) and kaolin-pectin; and a pouch of Celox. I put the tick scoop back into the outer pocket and added a pair of metal tweezers. I carry a home-made sling with the kit and a CPR face shield on my key chain.

See my previous post for information on how to make your own kit.

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Entry filed under: dogs, first aid, safety. Tags: .

Conflicting Conclusions Safety FAIL

11 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Kari  |  January 10, 2010 at 1:01 am

    that is quite the kit. you look prepared for anything

  • 2. Christina  |  January 10, 2010 at 4:43 am

    Gee! That’s better than my human first aid supplies! Way to go! I have a small pet first aid kit from Costco, but maybe I should add some things. Thanks so much for this post, I will use it as a reference!

  • 3. H. Houlahan  |  January 10, 2010 at 5:37 am

    Some principles of first aid kits we teach our wilderness first aid students:

    1) Make your own, don’t buy pre-fab. The latter will be more expensive and contain stuff you will never use and be missing stuff you need.

    2) As many items as possible should be multi-purpose. For example, why pack an Ace bandage when vetwrap can be used on humans or animals, and is good for supporting sprains and strains, securing splints, covering dressings to keep them clean, muzzling a dog (in a pinch, see below), tying up your legions of enemies, threading a stomach tube, and a dozen other uses I’m forgetting now?

    3) Consider nitrile rather than latex gloves. They don’t deteriorate in storage the way latex does. Glove with finger tips cut off can be a CPR shield.

    4) Two items I don’t see here that have many uses — a nylon stocking or two and a couple of nonlubricated condoms.

    The stocking is a very quick and effective muzzle, dressing cover, first-stage water filter to remove big gunk before purifying, secures wounded ears to the head, part of ball gag for your legions of enemies …

    The condoms can also cover and secure leg dressings on dogs, make excellent emergency water container and, with a pinprick, good high-pressure irrigation devices for the water that you filtered through the nylon stocking and purified with the betadine, and also, safely screwing over your legions of enemies.

  • 4. SmartDogs  |  January 10, 2010 at 4:37 pm

    Did you read this or just jump to the Houlie-fisk-o-the-day?

    I state twice in the post that I recommend people make their own kit and send them to the post where I give tips on how to do that.

    And – those blue thingies in the last photo – they’re nitrile gloves.

    RE: Nylons as dressing covers – nice, but not what I need as first aid. A length of gauze strip makes a great muzzle. Since I already want gauze strips for bandaging, I don’t need nylons (plus, where would I get them?). I don’t plan to have to filter and purify water on a road trip or the kind of hikes I take, but the idea of screwing over my legions of enemies is rather attractive…

  • 5. H. Houlahan  |  January 10, 2010 at 6:32 pm

    Errrr …. sorry for agreeing with you?

    Why both latex and nitrile gloves?

  • [...] with tails and paws?    You should.   I admit that I don’t, but I’ll be using this well organized, easy-to-follow post from Smartdogs to create one.   It’s a great idea, because you never know.  Don’t wait.  Please [...]

  • 7. Kayleigh  |  January 12, 2010 at 8:56 am

    This is a super helpful post. I’ve been in the process of building a good first aid kit for a while, and this will really help round it out.

  • 8. Monday morning roundup: My, we’re getting catty  |  January 13, 2010 at 12:54 am

    [...] with tails and paws?    You should.   I admit that I don’t, but I’ll be using this well organized, easy-to-follow post from Smartdogs to create one.   It’s a great idea, because you never know.  Don’t wait.  Please [...]

  • 9. Bill Coughlin  |  January 20, 2010 at 9:43 pm

    First aid for dogs, just like first aid for humans, is an effective combination of knowledge, supplies and skills, put into action for the benefit of your four-legged friend.

  • [...] with tails and paws?    You should.   I admit that I don’t, but I’ll be using this well organized, easy-to-follow post from Smartdogs to create one.   It’s a great idea, because you never know.  Don’t wait.  Please [...]

  • 11. Eric Lundquist  |  January 27, 2012 at 4:06 pm

    Thanks Janeen. I copied the info and added it into One Note so I have it for reference, I will combine everything I learn and assemble a couple of packs. One full pack and one very small “essentials” pack.

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