Archive for January 9, 2010

Being Prepared

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.

January 9, 2010 at 11:27 pm 11 comments

Because A Dog’s Mind is a Terrible Thing to Waste


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January 2010