The Fiji Times » Emergency kit for your pet


Hurricanes, thunderstorms, flash floods and car accidents, among others, are worrisome and stressful for animals and humans alike.

But you can take a lot of the anxiety out of these situations by preparing in advance. The same goes for you and your family.

Here are some common items to keep in a pet first aid kit and what you might need them for;

• Medical and vaccination records;

• Bottled water to drink or rinse wounds;

• Collapsible bowls;

• Treats to take them to the car or to a safer place and a small amount of food;

• Small flashlight – check the batteries;

• Soft muzzle, leash and collar or harness;

• Medical gloves for you if you have to treat wounds;

• Tweezers to remove stingers, ticks and other foreign bodies;

• Clean towels to clean a wound, use as a stretcher or wrap an anxious animal (see Thundershirt online)

• Emergency coverage for cold environments or an animal in shock;

• Rectal thermometer plus a water-based lubricant such as KY jelly (normal human digital thermometer from the pharmacy – check with your vet practice on how to use it correctly;

• Antiseptic soap (antiseptic hand soap NOT hand sanitizer) to clean around small wounds;

• A saline solution or simply use your bottle of water to rinse (pour gently and slowly into the wound and let it come out naturally) deep wounds;

• Dog or feline specific NSAIDs supplied by a veterinarian – NSAID stands for nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drug and relieves pain, swelling and inflammation. Some found especially in pharmacies are dangerous or deadly for cats and dogs;

• Antihistamine for mild allergic reactions to stings, bites or ingestion – obtain the type and dose from your veterinarian;

• Cold compress to reduce swelling and inflammation;

• Gauze, tape, elastic band, scissors – if swelling occurs after placing a dressing, remove it and replace it loosely. Check the details of the bandage with your veterinary office.

• Cotton balls or swabs;

• Anti-burn gel to be applied to the skin (topical);

• Hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting if you know or suspect they have eaten something they shouldn’t – check with your vet for dosage and instructions for your pets, and when not to use it. ‘utilize ;

• Milk of Magnesia or Activated Charcoal – give after vomiting as these tend to bind toxins or poisons. This helps prevent them from being absorbed;

• Saline solution to rinse wounds/eyes;

• Droppers or syringes for rinsing wounds or administering medication by mouth; and

• Antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection, relieve pain and act as a barrier against bacteria and germs – honey is best for our purposes here and you can put some in your tea

Store everything in an airtight plastic bag or container and in an accessible place.

One of the local pharmacies has a bright red plastic container for human first aid – a similar brightly colored container or bucket with lid would make an excellent pet first aid container.

Remember that first aid is not a substitute for veterinary care – if and when possible, get to the vet.

Teach your dog to walk well on a leash – a short daily training session with treats will ensure that he will not be completely frightened if he suddenly has to wear a leash (going to the vet or being transported to a safe place).

Get a carry bag or a secure basket with lid and zip ties to transport your cat safely.

A towel or small sheet to partially cover an open basket will make the cat feel more secure.

Don’t let them out until you’re in a safe place to do so or you risk your cat running away.

Lots of good websites to get more information such as

• JO OLVER is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine (DVM). The views expressed are those of the author and do not reflect the views of this journal.

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