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First Aid Kits for Animals

Health, Medical or behavior problems with all animals.

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First Aid Kits for Animals

Postby minervasden » Mon Aug 15, 2016 7:42 pm

What is first aid? First aid is the immediate treatment and care given in the case of injury or illness. Its purpose is to stabilize and preserve life until full medical care can be obtained. First aid is also to promote recovery and sometimes this is all that's needed such as giving a scrape a good cleaning. Having first aid supplies for your animal(s) is a part of being responsible just as is having at least Band-Aids and peroxide for you and your family. Some owners simply have general medical supplies in their bathroom cupboard that are used for humans and animals. This may work ok but a pet specific kit is even better as it eliminates risk of cross contamination, excludes pet toxic products and includes pet specific products you might not otherwise have on hand.

A first aid kit can be as basic or extravagant as you wish and customized to your specific needs. I've heard from many people that they do not have a first aid kit because deciding what to include can be intimidating. To help you get started I've included links to a few sample first aid kit suggestion checklists. If your pet has special health needs, consult with your vet for items to have on hand.

To save money you may wish to pool with friends and family for purchases of supplies available in bulk/single use packets. You may also choose to purchase a pre-made kit online or in some pet and farm supply stores.

Keep a laminated card of vet and other emergency numbers in the kit. Your vet may be programmed into your phone but what if your phone is not handy , dead battery or no signal? Also include current photos, any health conditions, allergies and an abbreviated medical history of your pet(s). there may be an emergency where you are not the one tending to your animal(S)

General Pet
https://aspenwing.com/emergency-info/first-aid-kits/
http://www.redcross.org/images/MEDIA_CustomProductCatalog/m4440087_First_Aid_Kit_for_Pets.pdf
http://images.marthastewart.com/images/content/web/pdfs/checklists/ms_checklist_pet_first_aid_kit_ce.pdf

Dog
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=2+1677&aid=2881
http://www.akcchf.org/canine-health/your-dogs-health/caring-for-your-dog/first-aid-kit.html

Cat
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+1411&aid=2880
http://cats.lovetoknow.com/How_To_Make_a_Cat_First_Aid_Kit

General Farm Animal
http://media.animalnetwork.com/channelmedia/hobbyfarms/HF1011.pdf
http://timbercreekfarmer.com/farm-animal-first-aid-kit/

Equine
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?aid=1644
http://equusmagazine.com/article/firstaidkit081797

Small Mammals
General http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?c=6067&articleid=703&category=486
Rats http://ratguide.com/health/basics/first_aid_supplies.php
Chinchilla http://www.foreverfeistychinchilla.org/first-aid-kit.html
Ferret http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=11&aid=556
Rabbit http://www.heartlandrabbitrescue.org/documents/Rabbit%20First%20Aid%20Kit.pdf

Bird
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=15+1912&aid=2882
http://www.beaknwings.org/ed/firstaid.pdf

Reptile
http://bamboozoo.weebly.com/emergency-supplies.html
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/pic/article.cfm?c=6016&articleid=139&d=160&category=249

Of course your first aid kit is of little use if you do not know how to use it. There are pet first aid books and also plenty of information available on the internet. The more obscure your pet, the more difficult to find specific information, but not impossible. Search and ask questions on forums (such as this one) and search articles on pet websites especially under the 'health' section. If you have general knowledge some things will be applicable to other species such as a small laceration on a fox first aid as for a dog/cat. Handling and restraint may be different matter however :icon-wink: Keep your book or folder/binder of printouts in or near your kit. Take time to read the information before you need it.

A limited selection of first aid and health links:

156 page dog and cat first aid manual
http://www.sunshinerescuegroup.org/PetFirstAid.pdf

Rabbit health topics
http://rabbit.org/category/health/

Common Bird Injuries
http://www.drsfostersmith.com/Articles/bird_commoninjuries.cfm

Horse health and first aid topics
http://www.horsechannel.com/horse-health/horse-first-aid-topiclist.aspx
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Re: First Aid Kits for Animals

Postby Vata Raven » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:04 pm

I would like to add something to the kit.

Instead of tweezers to remove ticks, get a tick removal tool. They are designed to remove the tick with ease and completely. With tweezers, their is a high chance of the head still staying attached to the animal. You still keep the tweezers in the kit, the tick remover is an add-on item.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00X7072HY/

Also, keep a jar of alcohol on you. After you pull the tick, throw it into the jar let the alcohol kill the bug.
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Re: First Aid Kits for Animals

Postby minervasden » Mon Aug 15, 2016 8:42 pm

I see that the part about checking for outdated products disappeared. Just be sure to regularly check and update your kit as needed. Use a label on the outside of the kit that lists the earliest expiration date contained or set regular intervals such as every six months to review the contents.
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Re: First Aid Kits for Animals

Postby Vata Raven » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:05 pm

minervasden wrote:I see that the part about checking for outdated products disappeared.

It was removed because the contents of first aid kits do not expire. Canned food would be the one thing to worry about, but canned food has a much longer shelf life than the given expiration date. Personal, I would not put food in the kit.

Legally, medical facilities have to toss out expired products, even sterile bandages. However, for home use, if the package is not compromised, the product is still sterile. If the kit is not stored in a hot spot, the adhesive of band aids and tape will still be good.

Suggestion, get a pencil pouch to store the smaller tools inside. Storing your scissors inside the pouch would prevent accidental puncture of sterile products.
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Re: First Aid Kits for Animals

Postby minervasden » Mon Aug 15, 2016 10:34 pm

Vata Raven wrote:
minervasden wrote:I see that the part about checking for outdated products disappeared.

It was removed because the contents of first aid kits do not expire.


It wasn't 'removed' so much as I accidentally deleted it and didn't notice.

It depends on the product. Some products are ok after expiration date, some simply become ineffective and others can be harmful to use. For example, tissue glue is an item not to use after expiration due to the preservative no longer being effective and bacteria colonizing the product which then caused infection/additional infection in treated areas. I have first hand knowledge of this happening with unopened tubes.

Regardless of the outdate listed, any product that smells 'funny', separates when not supposed , changes color, etc. should be replaced.
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Re: First Aid Kits for Animals

Postby Ash » Tue Aug 16, 2016 5:31 pm

Thank you for this topic. I've been needing to make lots of first aid kits over here, just in case something bad should happen.
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Re: First Aid Kits for Animals

Postby Vata Raven » Wed Aug 17, 2016 11:58 pm

minervasden wrote:It wasn't 'removed' so much as I accidentally deleted it and didn't notice.

Ah, I misunderstood, sorry about that. I thought you meant they removed it from the information from the sites.
minervasden wrote:For example, tissue glue is an item not to use after expiration due to the preservative no longer being effective and bacteria colonizing the product which then caused infection/additional infection in treated areas. I have first hand knowledge of this happening with unopened tubes.

I will take your word on it; I have never heard of skin glue before. Is it just for small wounds (nothing in need of stitching)? Maybe there is a non-expiring product on the market that does the same thing.

From these dog books I was reading, the writers listed off items for the first aid kit. One book said to put a styptic pencil in the kit, and another said to use cornstarch. Both items are for minor bleeding, but the word "minor" does not really tell you what the wound limit could be. I do worry about the styptic pencil, how does one go about cleaning that item? I mean, blood does end up touching the pencil, so that's not something you want others to use without cleaning it.
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Re: First Aid Kits for Animals

Postby minervasden » Thu Aug 18, 2016 1:13 am

Vata Raven wrote:
minervasden wrote:It wasn't 'removed' so much as I accidentally deleted it and didn't notice.

Ah, I misunderstood, sorry about that. I thought you meant they removed it from the information from the sites.
minervasden wrote:For example, tissue glue is an item not to use after expiration due to the preservative no longer being effective and bacteria colonizing the product which then caused infection/additional infection in treated areas. I have first hand knowledge of this happening with unopened tubes.

I will take your word on it; I have never heard of skin glue before. Is it just for small wounds (nothing in need of stitching)? Maybe there is a non-expiring product on the market that does the same thing.

From these dog books I was reading, the writers listed off items for the first aid kit. One book said to put a styptic pencil in the kit, and another said to use cornstarch. Both items are for minor bleeding, but the word "minor" does not really tell you what the wound limit could be. I do worry about the styptic pencil, how does one go about cleaning that item? I mean, blood does end up touching the pencil, so that's not something you want others to use without cleaning it.


No problem, I just mentioned the missing info in passing, without explanation.

Tissue/skin glue is part of the Cyanoacrylate family so it is basically super glue modified to be suitable for medical purposes. It is for smaller areas and can sometimes replace stitches. Not for deep or puncture wounds, it's useful for simple lacerations, areas or animals that are not easily bandaged such as tarantulas and snakes (though they can be bandaged), cracks in foot pads, as reinforcement between staples when skin staples are used and things like that.

The problem with products without preservatives or bacteriostatic agents is that they must have short dates and/or be in tightly sealed individual vials. This is why preservative free eye drops come in packs of single use vials. With products like tissue glue, eye drops, antibiotic cream, antifungal cream contamination is a concern especially once opened. An outdated product in this category is riskier than something such as a gauze pad.

Regarding styptic pencils, their cleaning directions are to clean with water and then let dry completely. I don't believe they are intended for the same stick to be shared among multiple users. At least that's how it should be. Both the pencils and cornstarch and other assorted products are used for blood stopping. Some have numbing or anti-infection properties and some don't. It is a personal choice whatever works best for your needs. Personally I use one of the commercial gel type products as it is easy and precise, I can apply it one handed from the tube if needed, I make a mess with powders, and the products I use are safe for mammals, reptiles and birds (not all are).

Minor bleeding : things like broken toenails, minor cuts and scrapes, razor nicks (pets or people). It's a bit subjective I suppose. If you had a dog with an 8" X 8" section of skin peeled back, that wouldn't be a minor area you'd sprinkle with cornstarch.
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Re: First Aid Kits for Animals

Postby pat » Sun Aug 21, 2016 10:01 am

great info M.

I just have basic stuff. bandages, vet wrap, gauze pads, tape. I also have a product "stop bleed" but, I don't see why the corn starch or flour would not work also. if an injury is too bad, I take them to the vets.

I also have the tick puller,which I also agree works much better than tweezers.

I appreciate your time on this research, it really is a great source.
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Re: First Aid Kits for Animals

Postby minervasden » Sun Aug 21, 2016 8:10 pm

pat wrote:great info M.

I just have basic stuff. bandages, vet wrap, gauze pads, tape. I also have a product "stop bleed" but, I don't see why the corn starch or flour would not work also. if an injury is too bad, I take them to the vets.

I also have the tick puller,which I also agree works much better than tweezers.

I appreciate your time on this research, it really is a great source.


Tick pullers are something I associate with grooming supplies, so I'd probably never list them for a first aid kit myself. It's good for the other members that you and Vata Raven mentioned them.

And thank you.
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