Preparing A First-Aid Kit for Your Dogs
Having an unpredictable and unwanted injury in our dogs is not something that we really look forward to. However, when something happens it is very handy to have a first-aid kit ready to save your dog’s life in case of an emergency. Here is a list of what you should pack in the kit:
- Potassium permanganate crystals: to stop bleeding. It can be used to treat fungal infections on skin.
- Sterile water: to rinse wounds.
- Chlorhexidine soap: to clean dirt from skin and disinfect the area.
- Alcohol 70% (alcohol swab or alcohol spray): to disinfect the wound.
- Povidone iodine: antiseptic, to be applied last on the wound.
- Gauze bandage: the first layer to be applied on the wound. It absorbs moisture and is well ventilated.
- Soft padding (e.g cotton sheets, Soffban): the second layer for wound dressing, to provide comfort.
- Vet wrap: the outmost layer in dressing, to hold the other layers in place.
- Activated charcoal: to be given when poisoning is suspected. To administer easily, the pills can be ground to powder, mixed with water, then given in a syringe. This should be done only when the dog is conscious.
- Cotton balls
- Cotton buds
- Syringe 5 ml, 10 ml
- Thermometer. The normal body temperature in dog is 99-102.5 F.
How to use potassium permanganate crystals to stop bleeding:
Dampen the tip of a cotton bud then dip it in the crystals. Apply on the bleeding wound. If bleeding doesn’t stop, repeat with a new cotton bud and apply pressure for five minutes on the wound.
How to clean a wound:
Rinse the wound with clean water. Make a chlorhexidine solution by mixing chlorhexidine soap and clean water. Disinfect the area surrounding the wound with this solution by using cotton balls. Some studies show that chlorhexidine has a negative effect on acute wound healing so you might want to avoid cleaning the wound with this solution. Instead, when the surrounding area is already clean, disinfect the wound with alcohol 70% also by using cotton balls. Finally apply some povidone iodine on the wound. Depending on the size and the site of the wound, you may need to apply dressing to prevent infection.
How to apply dressing:
First apply some hydrophilic gauze directly on the wound, and make sure that the gauze covers the wound completely. To provide comfort and to prevent the wound from sticking to the top dressing layer, wrap some padded layer of cotton pads or Soffban around the gauze by applying it like a bandage. Finally, apply vet wrap with the same technique to cover the soft padding so it stays on the skin. Don’t leave too much soft padding exposed or otherwise the dressing won’t stay in place. Vet wrap is self adhesive but it doesn’t stick to the skin or fur, so it will hold the dressing in place but is easy to remove.