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Monday, October 18, 2010

First Aid Kit is essential for travel with pets

You'd think I would have known better than to go off to a three-day agility trial 350 miles from home without a decent first aid kit for either Lizzie or myself.

The thought to at least pack some Band-aids did cross my mind, but only fleetingly.  "We won't need 'em," I rationalized in my last frantic moments of preparing for departure.

Sure enough, that first night on the road, Lizzie needed minor medical attention for a sore footpad, and I had nothing to give her.  But I sat down and made my list of supplies I wished I had for her...gauze pads, triple antibiotic ointment, vet wrap, plain aspirin, and some Elastikon tape.   The next day when I sprained my ankle while playing fetch with her, I added an ace bandage, an ice pack, and some topical anti-inflammatory cream to the list.  Later on, for both of us, I added arnica and aconite tablets (homeopathic remedies for pain and uneasiness).   I also added Benadryl for Lizzie, in case of a bee sting, allergic reaction, or the need for a light sedative.  Oh yes...and some Band-aids for me (although I find vet wrap works just as well most of the time).

With these first aid supplies, I could have addressed a variety of minor problems, from sore footpads to scrapes, strains and minor cuts.

Here's my list again....I'm going to print it out and use it to gather up my traveling first aid box, which I will stow in the RV.  I may add a few items to it--maybe tweezers, clippers nail trimmers. But I want to keep it short and uncomplicated, and adequate for a weekend road trip.  Your own list will probably be somewhat different, depending on you and your dog's needs and anticipated activities.  But you can sure use mine as a start:

  • gauze pads
  • triple antibiotic ointment
  • Vet Wrap
  • plain aspirin (a non-Rx emergency pain-reliever/anti-inflammatory)
  • Elastikon tape (it sticks like crazy and holds Vet Wrap and other bandages in place on the animal's skin)
  • Ace bandage
  • Instant ice pack
  • topical anti-inflammatory cream (like Surpass or Voltaire)
  • arnica tablets
  • aconite tablets
  • Benadryl tablets
  • Band-aids
 Post Script:  
Some late additions from readers...  
From Dusty, a hunter/hiker: saline squirt bottle to wash out wounds and eyes
From Kim, a wildlife biologist:  skin glue or super-glue to keep wounds closed and to stop bleeding toenails.  Acepromazine for her dog's anxiety during thunderstorms.
From Gail, a multi-Lab mom: Hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting if "the boys" eat something they shouldn't.  Pepto-Bismol for upset Lab tummies.  Gax-X tablets to buy time if the dogs bloat.  

Got your own favorites?  Let me know!

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