By Charlene Marchand
For Capital Region Independent Media
Let’s talk emergency kits.
The following is excerpted from “Puppies’ First Steps” by the faculty of the Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, Nicholas Dodman, editor, Houghton Mifflin Company, by Tufts University:
“Keeping certain materials on hand can mitigate damage in the event of an emergency, including, sometimes, a poisoning emergency. If you have the proper first-aid supplies, you may be able to forestall complications in a dog who has to be rushed to the vet’s office. Sometimes the right supplies can ward off an emergency altogether.
“Here are the first aid materials any dog owner should have in the house:
- Gauze, sterile pads, and vet wrap, a self-clinging elastic wrap – all can be used to wrap a wound prior to transport to the vet.
- Styptic pencil or powder to stop a nail from bleeding if it has been cut too close.
- Tweezers or forceps to remove splinters, ticks, etc.
- Triple antibiotic ointment to inhibit bacterial growth and infection, to be applied to wounds upon direction by a vet.
- Antiseptic to help prevent infection in minor cuts and to disinfect minor wounds.
- Hydrocortisone cream to reduce itching caused by insect bites and allergies.
- Diphenhydramine, an antihistamine for an allergic reaction. (Benadryl 25mg/lb.)
- Cold pack to reduce swelling.
- Eye wash to rinse foreign objects or dust out of the dog’s eyes.
- Hydrogen peroxide (10% strength, easily available over the counter) to induce vomiting in case of poisoning. Your vet or Poison Control Center should be able to tell you the correct dose. (Either one should also be able to tell you whether induction is appropriate; sometimes it can worsen the poisoning, depending on the toxin.) Call a vet first!
- Antiseptic wipes, to clean your hands as well as a cut on the dog.
- Alcohol prep pads to clean scissors and tweezers before use. (They should not be used directly on a wound.)
- Muzzle (a scared dog in pain may bite even a loved one. Velcro/nylon or gauze.)
- Latex gloves.
- A ready list of emergency health care provider phone number.
Feel free to call us with any questions at 518-828-6044 or visit our website at www.cghs.org.
Our Food Bank is open to any from the public in need of pet food or for those wishing to donate food from 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. daily. Spay/neuter clinics for cats are $86 male or female, including a rabies vaccination and a 5-in-1 feline distemper combination vaccination. Nail clipping services are available every Saturday from 10-11 a.m. at the shelter for a donation of $10 for cats and $15 for dogs (currently prepaid only).
Charlene Marchand is the chairperson of the Columbia-Greene Humane Society/SPCA Board of Directors. She may be contacted at email@example.com.