Adventures in Pet First Aid

As my husband has told me countless times, “Adventure isn’t always fun while it’s happening.”  He is usually referring to getting caught in the rain (or snow) on a cross country motorcycle trip or something else equally exciting, and contrasting that with the glory of “telling the tale” once you’re back safe and dry.  As a long term greyhound owner and professional dog trainer, I couldn’t agree more.

As you can see by the attached photo, I’m less than thrilled about this “action shot” of me inside Corsa’s temporary crate.  The crate was set up to keep her quiet during a flare up of her complicated back issues, but came in quite handy for the Monty Python Life of Brian style “blood sprinkler” imitation she did by cutting a toenail at the junction with the paw.  As a side note to this particular “adventure,” just as I’m jammed in her crate trying to assess and patch up her injury, the evil squirrel-from-hell appeared outside and all hell broke loose as our other two hounds focused on squirrel eradication and destruction.  Point scored for the “timing devil.”

Miraculously, my husband Mark was able to prevent the other two agitated hounds from going right through the sliding glass window while simultaneously snapping this glamour shot of me thinking, “Really?!”  Multi-dog households are definitely adventurous to say the least, and sometimes not exactly what we’d describe as “fun.”

Getting back to the point, greyhounds are fragile in many ways.  Their thin skin and high speeds don’t go well together.  Rips and gashes are common.  Trying to get the thin skin to cover a wound is like trying to work with wet toilet paper…good luck.  In my experience with greyhounds I have seen ears ripped off, arteries exposed, (or was that a vein?) numerous unfortunate tail injuries, serious skin rips and tears and heat stroke among other things.  That is why I’m obsessed with having a well-stocked first aid kit.

Person cutting dog's nails next to large first aid kit
First Aid Kit in Action

My pet sitters probably look at my first aid kit and think I’m the Queen of Overkill, but I say, “…it’s all fun and games until somebody loses an eye!”  So I’m ready for anything.

Dog Genie’s Top Ten Dog Mom First Aid Kit Items:

1.         Hydrogen Peroxide

2.         Sterile Gauze

3.         Medical Tape

4.         Vet Wrap

5.         Liquid Bandage

6.         Neosporin Ointment

7.         Styptic Powder

8.         Rectal Thermometer

9.         Vaseline

10.       Safety Scissors


In no way does this list represent everything you should have on hand in your first aid kit to be prepared for “adventure” to happen, but you should at least be able to stabilize or diagnose many common minor problems with these items, at least until you can get to the vet or emergency clinic.  The book Complete Guide to Dog Care from the Humane Society of the United States has a wonderful comprehensive list in the chapter on Health and Safety.  Better safe than sorry, you know how “adventure” can be.

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