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First Aid Kit

Here are some of the commonly used items you should have on hand in your dog's medicine chest. Be sure to check with your veterinarian before giving any medicines. I tend toward natural medicine so my pharmacopia includes herbs, tinctures and syrups. I have three basic default remedies for nearly everything both for my dogs and my grandkids. Elderberry syrup which is anti-viral, anti-bacteria and an anti internal parasitic. For wound healing: outside is comfrey and colloidal silver and if necessary colloidal silver internally also. Colloidal silver is used to heal burn victims in all major hospitals. Elderberry is the major ingredient in most pharmaceuticals of the world other then the US for flu and colds.

Medical Items

Hydrogen peroxide - Hydrogen peroxide should be in every dog's medicine cabinet. Although most commonly thought of as a way to clean a wound, another important use is to induce vomiting when your dog has ingested toxins, foreign objects, drugs or spoiled food. However, check with your veterinarian first because there are times when it is best not to induce vomiting. Dogs won't drink peroxide willingly so buy an oral dose syringe or keep a turkey baster on hand to help administer the liquid. Also check the expiration date; expired peroxide is not as effective.

Benadryl® - (diphenhydramine) is an antihistamine that is commonly used for itching and allergic reactions. As I said, I try to keep to natural methods of healing but when it comes to stings and bites, emergency methods are often necessary. So keep some Benadryl around in 25 mg doses.

Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate - Sometimes a dose of Pepto-Bismol or Kaopectate can solve a mild case of stomach or intestinal upset. However, Pepto-Bismol contains salicylates, the active ingredient in aspirin, so dogs that are aspirin sensitive should be given Kaopectate. There is K that is made specifically for dogs but I believe it needs a prescription to obtain. Alternatives are Lugol's Iodine which only needs one drop in most dogs. This Iodine preparation is intended for internal use and kills parasites and amoebas in the intestinal track.

Triple antibiotic ointment - Topical antibacterial ointment is great for superficial wounds, such as cuts and scratches. Comfrey and colloidal silver work just as well and if licked by the dog are harmless whereas the ointment is not so harmless. Keep vet wrap handy to prevent licking. Dogs will lick a wound to remove dead tissue to prevent gangrene.

Bandages and Tape - An old sock and electrical tape can be used as bandages when an emergency arises. Keep a pack of clean or sterile gauze and some pressure tape handy. Vet tape is also necessary as it sticks to itself and helps to prevent the dog from removing it.

Non medical items for your kit

Muzzle, extra leash usually of the slip lead variety so that you can easily slip it on and off, scissors and/or a pocket knife, pliers for thorns and spiny protrusions, wet wipes, flashlight, magnifying glass, compass (for those who hike in remote places), any electrolyte/vitamin paste or syrup like nutrical and a blanket for warmth or wrapping.

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