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2 June 1999 Issue

First Aid Kit

The following is a list of items every companion of animals should have at hand
for their pet first aid kit. The kit itself can be stored in a waterproof pouch if kept
on a boat and in a small tool box or other kind of box in the house. A small
version can even be kept in your car trunk. Medications and medical supplies
should be kept safely out of reach of children. Since some of the items in your
kit will carry expiration dates, check your kit periodically, discard outdated
medications and supplies and make sure you have all the supplies you need. If
your companion animal has any special conditions or needs, ask your veterinarian
what additional items you may need for your first aid kit.

Your companion animal first aid kit should include the following:

+ Latex gloves.
+ Gauze sponges (available at most pharmacies). A variety of sizes, both large
and small, are best to keep on hand.
+ Roll gauze, 2-inch width.
+ Roll bandages, such as gauze wrap that stretches and clings. These are
available at pharmacies, pet stores and through pet catalogs.
+ Material to make a splint. This can include pieces of wood, newspaper and
sticks.
+ Adhesive tape, hypo-allergenic.
+ Non-adherent sterile pads. These pads make excellent dressings and can be
purchased in most pharmacies.
+ Small scissors.
+ Grooming clippers (available in pet stores and pet catalog) or a safety razor.
+ Nylon leash (at least one).
+ Towel
+ Muzzle. A cage muzzle is ideal, but a soft collapsible one may be more
convenient to carry. Get one you already know fits your pet. If you do not
want to purchase one, at least have plenty of roll gauze available to use as
a makeshift muzzle.
+ Compact thermal blanket. These may be purchased in some pharmacies;
they are also frequently found in sporting goods stores and catalogs. If you
cannot get a thermal blanket, have a regular blanket available.
+ Pediatric rectal thermometer (may be digital).
+ Water-based sterile lubricant (washes off easily).
+ Three percent hydrogen peroxide (this will have an expiration date).
+ Rubbing alcohol (isopropyl).
+ Over-the-counter topical antibiotic ointment.
+ Epsom salts.
+ Baby dose syringe or eye dropper (non-glass). These are available at pharm-
acies or in the baby section of most grocery stores.
+ Sterile eye lubricant.
+ Sterile saline eye wash.
+ Diphenhydramine (over-the-counter antihistamine, also found under the
brand-name of Benedryl), appropriate dosage for your pet's size, if
approved by your veterinarian.
Small dogs and cats (less than 30 lbs.): 10 mg.;
Medium dogs (30-50 lbs.): 25 mg.;
Large dogs (greater than 50 lbs.): 50 mg.
This will have an expiration date. Only give the antihistamine if you have
spoken to your veterinarian in advance.
+ Glucose paste or corn syrup.
+ Styptic powder or pencil. Pharmacies carry styptic pencils for use when
people cut themselves shaving. Veterinary styptic products are sold at
veterinary hospitals, pet supply stores and through catalogs.
+ Expired credit card to scrape away stingers.
+ A list of emergency telephone numbers including your pet's veterinarian, an
after-hours emergency veterinary hospital and the National Animal Poison
Control Center (1-800-548-2423 or 1-900-680-0000).
+ Petroleum jelly.
+ Penlight.
+ Clean cloth.
+ Needle-nose pliers.

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