There is a medical emergency situation with your dog. You are wasting valuable time running around looking for things you need. On top of that, you don't know what constitutes a real emergency and what can be handled with basic first aid.

Sound familiar?

It's an brilliant plan, to be prepared! Consider having a small suitcase with certain necessary items packed away for just such a time. Hopefully, you will never have to use it. However, if you do need it, it's ready! Label it your DOGGIE FIRST AID KIT!

The next time you take your dog to your vet, ask them for a baseline weight, pulse rate and temperature. You will be keeping that information in a folder in your DOGGIE FIRST AID KIT.

Familiarize yourself with Canine Artificial Respiration and Canine CPR. Check with local dog trainers, shelters, rescues and the American Red Cross for availability, times and dates for classes. Have that information available in your folder. Also have the emergency numbers for local poison control, your veterinarian, and nearest 24-hour emergency clinic. Put that information in the folder.

Also include in your folder, vital information charts for Triage, Capillary Refill Time Test, Mucus Membrane Color Test, Temperature / Emergency Situation Chart, Respiration Monitoring Chart, Heart Rate Chart, and Responsiveness Chart included in your DOGGIE FIRST AID KIT.

Check with your veterinarian. Ask them what over-the-counter products they advise and appropriate dosages for your dog. Keep that information in the DOGGIE FIRST AID KIT folder too.

The over-the-counter (OTC) items you will find listed below are generally accepted:

Triage Chart – Prioritized in Order of Urgency:
1. Stopped breathing, no pulse
2. Stopped breathing, with pulse
3. Unconscious
4. Shock – pale gums, weak, rapid breathing, rapid pulse, clammy, cold skin
5. Difficulty breathing
6. Chest wound – puncture or gaping
7. Severe bleeding
8. Abdominal wound – puncture or gaping
9. Extreme body temperature – too hot or too cold
10. Poison – toxins, snake bites, insect stings, animal bites

Knowing the priority of urgency for any given situation can be the difference between life and death. You may risk your pet's life, focusing on the wrong thing at the wrong time.

Your DOGGIE FIRST AID KIT should include:
· Muzzle
· Blanket
· Bandages -gauze pads, rolls each of gauze (1 and 2 inch)
· Bandage tape
· Ace bandage
· Plastic wrap (seal wound)
· Bubble wrap (splint)
· Blunt end scissors
· Tweezers
· Hemostat
· Eye dropper
· Needless syringe
· Pill syringe
· Needle nose pliers
· Pop & Use ice packs / plastic sandwich bags (make your own ice pack)
· Hot water bottle
· Antiseptic liquid soap
· Rectal thermometer Normal average 99-102 degrees Fahrenheit
· Lubricant

Non-prescription over-the-counter (OTC) medications to have on hand or in the kit:

· Anti-bacterial ointment – rashes, cuts, and wounds
· Betadine solution – cleaning wounds
· Saline solution – cleaning wounds and eye injuries
· Buffered aspirin – pain relief
· Kaopectate – diarrhea
· Honey and / or Karo syrup – shock, low blood sugar
· Burn cream or spray -burns
· Ipecac syrup – induce vomiting
· Antihistamine – reduce swelling insect bites, allergies
· Anti-itch cream – rash, insect bites, allergies
· Antacid liquid – gastric problems
· Laxative – constipation
· Astringent – Witch Hazel, Hydrogen Peroxide
· Gatorade and / or Pedialyte
Epsom salts – bath for itchy skin, insect bites

The fantastic thing of having everything in one suitcase is, you'll know where it is in the time of the emergency, plus, it's easy to grab, should you go camping or on vacation with your dog.

Bottom line: At the time of an emergency, it is best to stay as calm as possible. Your dog will sense your stress, which will only add to theirs. Having your DOGGIE FIRST AID KIT geared up and available, will save valuable time. In addition, it will reduce the panic of looking for what you need, when you have more serious matters to deal with.

Here's to your dog's safety and good health!


by Karen Soukiasian