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How to Make a First Aid Kit

The materials inside a pet first aid kit can be used to treat minor emergencies and to assist you and your pet in case a major emergency occurs. As you build your pet first aid kit, familiarize yourself with materials and methods that may be needed to help your pet in an emergency.

Recommended Materials

Thermometer and small jar of Vaseline: if your pet ever seems like he or she is not feeling well, or if the pet is unconscious or is in an emergency situation, it is important to quickly take the pet's temperature to ensure that the pet is not in a life threatening temperature situation such as hypothermia or hyperthermia. To use the thermometer apply a small amount of Vaseline, and place the thermometer in the pet's rectum. The normal temperature for dogs is between 100.0 – 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit, and the normal temperature for cats is between 101.5 – 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.

Hydrogen Peroxide and a plastic syringe: hydrogen peroxide is an emetic which induces vomiting. Only use this emetic when warranted, such as if a veterinarian or poison control center tells you to immediately administer it. Purchase a syringe from a pharmacy or a veterinarian that is the right size for your pets. Dogs and cats should receive 5 – 25 cc's of hydrogen peroxide (orally) for every 10 pounds of weight. If vomiting does not occur in 15 minutes repeat the dose.

Muzzle: a muzzle by be needed in an emergency to help restrain your animal if it becomes aggressive due to shock and pain.

Karo Syrup: If hypoglycemia is suspected (a condition that can occur in diabetic pets and in small dogs with low blood sugar), Karo Syrup can be rubbed in the pet's gums to help increase blood sugar levels.

Medical bandages, gauze, or used cloth: in the event of bleeding emergencies, these materials can be used to apply pressure to the bleeding areas. These materials may also be used to stabilize an injured limb. Try to pack the emergency kit with enough materials to suit the size of your pet.

Small flashlight: A small flashlight can be used to check for any injuries within the mouth or any objects or materials that could be blocking respiration in the upper part of the throat.

Stethoscope: A stethoscope can be used to check the pet's heart rate in the event of an emergency. You may also want to ask your veterinarian to show you how to check your pet's femoral pulse.

Air Splint: These emergency splints can be used to immobilize a limb if a break is suspected.

Hot/Cold Pack: Use the emergency packs that can be stowed in an emergency kit and will change temperature when broken or shaken.

Emergency Heat Blanket: These thin foil-like emergency blankets should be used if an animal's temperature is decreasing due to shock or exposure. Always take the pet's temperature first before using.

Tweezers: These items can be used to remove any small painful objects. Keep in mind though if the pet has a serious wound such as a gunshot wound, or has been impaled by an object, do not remove the object yourself. Instead, stabilize the area and take the pet to a veterinarian immediately.

Saline Solution: This solution can be used to clean out wounds and flush the eyes.

A card with the phone number and a map to your veterinarian's office, the phone number and map to the nearest 24 hour emergency veterinarian clinic, and the phone number to a 24 hour pet poison control center.

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