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  • Writer's pictureAureate

First Aid Kit

Updated: Nov 30, 2023

What must have items every responsible pet owner should have in their car and home!

This post is NOT to replace the role of seeking medical care from a qualified veterinarian or is it written to empower you to treat your dog at home for injuries or accidents that may arise. The point of this post is to educate you on the importance of maintaining an up to date first aid kit both in your home and your car. The following is what we've found to practical in our car as we do a lot of outdoor hikes with our dogs year round:

First Aid Kit: this can be purchased from any drug store or pet shop.
It will be necessary to add some items to this kit or to ensure there presence:

-Sterile Rolled Gauze wrap (3x)
-Sterile 4"x4" Gauze pads (most kits only have 1 larger pad which will be inadequate for any more significant laceration)
-Small bag of gloves
-Sterile Saline Irrigation Fluid (this is important for cleaning larger wounds in the field before you dress it and take to your vet.)
-Saline Wound Wash (pressurized, this is ONLY for superficial lacerations as anything deeper that requires sutures it will tear apart the tissue planes, potentially causing more damage. We carry a pressurized bottle for cleaning small more superficial wounds.) see photo below
-Muzzle: this is VERY important item to have! Dogs can bite when in extreme pain and as a protective response to you trying to inspect their wound while deciding on a course of action.
-Vet Wrap: this can be purchased from any Drug Store or tack shop. Keep in mind it is elastic in nature and should NEVER be applied tightly as this will greatly increase the pressure and compress vital tissue potentially cutting off the circulation!
-Emergency Harness: this might seem a bit excessive for some, but if you go on adventures with your dog, this is an ABSOLUTE necessity. We carry the Back Country Harness with us anytime our dogs are going off leash. Why? Well more than once we've been a few miles away from our car or campsite and have had to trek in deep snow with a 30 lb whippet in our arms and a makeshift sling.
-Hemostatic Gauze: this can be purchased off Amazon
-Suitical Recovery Suit: Forget the cone of shame which is cumbersome and unpleasant for dogs anyway. This body suit works well to keep your dog from licking or interfering with sutures post-op or allowing lacerations to heal.
-Antiseptic Spray: Can be picked from your local pet or tack shop.
-Splint: if the worst happens and you are out in the field, its important to stabilize a fracture before you transport your dog to the vet. (If you don't have first aid experience or training we do NOT recommend attempting this.)
-Tweezers: removing ticks and small slivers
-Extra slip leads (emergency leashes)

Optional Items:
-Pocket Knife
-Electrolyte powder: we carry this on the road and add to our dog's water in the summer when
competing in sporting events. Dogzymes by Nature's Farmacy makes an excellent product. DO NOT give your dog electrolyte powder designed for human consumption. It's also helpful to add to their water when recovering from an episode of diarrhea or GI upset. We do NOT recommend treating your dog at home, if sick. Seek out qualified veterinary advice. We use electrolytes to help in our dogs recovery, not as treatment!
-Probiotics: again Nature's Farmacy carries an excellent probiotic to add to your dog's food. This is especially important when on a course of antibiotics and after their cessation to help your dog's comensal flora return to normal.
-Chest Protector: we had a tragic accident and almost lost one of our whippets after they were
impaled in the thorax while hiking. They were off leash and while running, a low lying
branch pierced her chest narrowly missing her vital organs. Fortunately, she made a full
recovery but since then we've always had our girls wear a chest protector to prevent this accident
from reoccurring. Our dogs lead active and full lives. The tradeoff is that we fully accept
that sometimes things can happen. It's our job at Aureate to manage what we feel is an acceptable
risk for us and our dogs. We are currently designing a chest protector more suited for whippets, similar in style to the Browning one, with a Kevlar insert (see photo).

NEVER give your dog human medication over the counter or otherwise! Always consult with your vet!!! Some experienced whippet owners carry a staple gun (medical) in their kit. We DO NOT recommend you ever treat lacerations at home! They must be inspected by your vet for any significant muscle, nerve or tendon damage not to mention proper washout and sometimes a course of antibiotics to prevent an infection.

Keep your local poison control number available and know if your own vet provides emergency or after hour care. If not, make sure you are familiar with the Emergency Vet Hospitals in your area or areas you will be visiting when travelling.

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