It is finally Spring and Texas is trying to settle into a more normal weather pattern. Unfortunately, the warmer weather brings more chances for medical emergencies in our four-legged friends. Most veterinarians highly recommend having a pet first aid kit available in case of an emergency. The following is a list of items commonly found in such a kit – many of which can found around the house.
1. Contact information for your veterinarian, the local veterinary emergency hospital, and Animal Poison Control (888-426-4435 – fees may apply).
2. Current medical records – including vaccine history and medications. Check with your veterinarian as some have these available online or through a clinic app for smartphones.
3. Leash or carrier (for small pets)
4. Muzzle – useful if a pet is painful (or scared) and trying to bite. A leash, soft rope or nylon stocking can substitute if needed. Do not use if pet is vomiting.
5. Towels/blankets – can be used as bedding, a wound cover, to help hold painful pets, or as a stretcher to move immobile pets.
6. Non-stick gauze squares/bandages – to help control bleeding or cover wounds. Do not use band-aids because they won’t stick to pets’ hair well.
7. Medical adhesive tape – used to hold bandages in place.
8. Saline eye wash – such as used by contact lens wearers. Helpful to rinse eyes.
9. Digital thermometer – rectal use for fevers. Normal in pets is about 100-102 Fahrenheit.
10. Scissors – blunt tipped kids safety scissors
13. Tackle box or another container for storage
Additionally, a useful resource to have available would be the Pet First Aid app from the Red Cross. This is available for download on smartphones through the appropriate app stores or from the Red Cross website.
If a medical emergency occurs, knowing where to find these supplies is important. It is always recommended to call your veterinarian for specific instructions, because with some emergencies your pet may need to be seen as soon as possible for further treatment. Hopefully, your four-legged friend will not have any medical emergencies this spring, but if you have a first aid kit available, at least you will be more prepared if one does happen.