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Keep a pet first aid kit in the house

Everyone needs to be prepared for emergencies. Accidents happen when we least expect them and they don’t just happen to people. They happen to animals as well, so it’s important to have supplies ready in case any of your furry family members need immediate care. The American Veterinary Association suggests that anyone with a pet assemble a Pet First Aid Kit that includes the following:
•  Emergency contact information: your veterinarian’s phone number and the phone number of the nearest 24-hour emergency veterinarian.
•  Your pet’s medical records: including your pet’s medications and vaccination history.
•  Gauze: for wrapping wounds or muzzling an injured animal.
•  Nonstick bandages, towels or strips of clean cloth: to control bleeding or protect wounds.
•  Adhesive tape for bandages: for securing gauze wrap or a cloth bandage. Do not use human bandages (like band-aids) on pets.
•  Milk of magnesia, activated charcoal: to absorb poison. Always contact your veterinarian by phone before treating an animal that has ingested poison.
•  3% Hydrogen peroxide: to induce vomiting. Again, always contact your veterinarian before treating an animal that has ingested poison.
•  Digital “Fever” Thermometer (a regular thermometer doesn’t go high enough for pets): to check your pet’s temperature. For obvious reasons do not put a thermometer in your pet’s mouth. Temperature must be taken rectally.
•  Eyedropper or large syringe without a needle: to give oral treatments or flush wounds.
•  Muzzle (a soft rope, necktie or nylon stocking): to prevent pet from biting. Do not muzzle your pet if s/he is vomiting.
•  Leash: to transport your pet if he is capable of walking.
•  Stretcher (board, floor mat, large heavy cloth): to transport your pet if he is unable to walk.
Emergency first aid is not a substitute for veterinary care but it can save your pet’s life until you can reach your vet. Follow your emergency first aid immediately with a call and visit to your veterinarian. Keeping these supplies in a convenient place in your home will allow you help your pet if an emergency arises.
Dottie Nelson is a long-standing volunteer and advocate for Addison County’s Homeward Bound animal shelter and writes on their behalf.

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