Basic Pet First Aid Procedure
- Check the pulse. It should be regular and easy to locate. For small-sized dogs it should be 90-120 bpm (beats per minute), for medium-sized dogs 70-110 bpm and for large dogs, it should be 60-90 bpm. For cats it should be 150-200 bpm. For birds it varies from 198 bpm to 1000 bpm depending upon the species.
- Check the body temperature. Normal canine temperature ranges between 100.5F to 102.5F. For birds the range is 104F to 108F.
- In case of fractures, put cotton padding around it and wrap with a magazine or rolled newspaper. Put splints that extend to the joints above and below the fractured area.
- Do not attempt to adjust the fractured bone. Immobilize the pet if it’s rib, spine or hips have been injured. Different types of muzzles are used for cats and pet dogs. Birds and other smaller mammals can be restrained by gently wrapping them in a towel or a rag. Keep your hands away from the beaks.
- In case of external bleeding, press a thick cotton pad over the wound till bleeding stops. If bleeding is internal i.e., from the nose, mouth or rectum, keep the pet warm and quiet. If it is unconscious, keep its head on the same level as the rest of the body.
A first aid kit is used to treat any minor injury to the pets or to aid them in case of major ones. The basic kit can be used for dogs, cats, horses or birds. Let’s see what a dog first aid kit must have. It must be present in the house as well as in your car. Its location should be fixed and known to all. Consider all possible emergencies that can occur and assemble the dog first aid kit accordingly. Get a regular checkup done to find out any health problems beforehand. The main aim of a first aid kit is to save a life and prevent further physical and physiological injury. Keep calm and try to calm down your dog too.
What to Include in the Dog First Aid Kit
First aid kit must include the following things:
- Sterile gauze sponges
- Sterile cotton or cotton balls
- A mild anti-bacterial soap for cleaning skin and wounds
- Bandage scissors
- Blunt-tipped scissors (used for cutting hair around the wound)
- Antiseptic ointment, powder or spray for wounds
- Alcohol swabs (for instrument sterilization)
- Rubbing alcohol
- Adhesive tape for bandages
- Rectal thermometer/Oral thermometer
- Lubricating jelly to lubricate thermometer
- Forceps or tweezers
- Razor blade for snakebite
- Hydrogen peroxide (to induce vomiting in case of non-caustic poison intake; give 10ml after every 15 minutes)
- Eye wash
- Ear syringe (used for flushing eyes, ears and wounds)
- Instant hot as well as cold compresses
- Kaopectate tablets (maximum strength)
- Large exam quality vinyl gloves or latex gloves
- Burn relief gel pack
- Insect sting relief pads
- Buffered analgesic, antipyretic and anti-inflammatory medication
- Oral syringes
- Large towel
- Dog’s health record and medication
- Regular veterinary and emergency clinic timings and numbers
- Local and national poison control numbers
Prepackaged kits are also available in the market if you don’t want to prepare one. But make sure that they contain all the necessary items before you buy them. If you are making your own kit, use cosmetic boxes or tool boxes for it. Label the box and the supplies. Consult your vet about the dosage and side effects of medicines beforehand. Inform him about any odd behavior you might notice in the dog. Also, regularly check the expiry dates on all the perishables. Prepare the first aid kit now and familiarize yourself with the first aid procedure. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.