Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Lifes Little Emergencies

Do you have  First Aide supplies for your critters?    Whether you have small animals or large animals it is always a good idea to have emergency supplies available.     Over the years my animal first aid kit has become fairly extensive.   I used to think if I had vet wrap on hand I was doing good.   Now I have a cabinet dedicated to animal first aide in my barn.   Unfortunately,  we live an hour away from the veterinary hospital.     In some emergencies minutes can mean life or death for your animal.   It is nice to  know you did what you could for your critter until veterinary help is available  Or, in many of my little emergencies, take care of the problem myself with veterinary consult.  

Medical Cabinet
drawer with syringes, gloves, etc.
Syringe needle drawer









Here is a list of  some of the items that I have in my First Aid supply cabinet.   Some of these, if not most, are kept on hand  for goats.  However,  a lot of the supplies can be used on many different animal species. (In this photo my cabinet is empty,  I take everything out that is effected by cold temperature in the winter)

 Emergency Supplies
Old Towels- great for drying off new born animals, cleaning up messes, using for a compress.
Paper towels
Rubber gloves
Syringes - a variety of sizes
needles- a variety of gauges
vet wrap- never be with out (never wrap anything without cotton underneath it)
rolled or sheet cotton
4x4 surgical sponges- great for wound care, (cleaning wounds and dressing wounds)  
Small tarp-great to put on the ground when a clean surface is needed
plastic grocery bags-for clean up
first at tape-dressing wounds
long exam gloves-great for picking up gooey things like placenta.  I just pick it up turn the bag inside out and tie it shut.  
bandage scissors
thermometer
band aides- for you
Tincture Iodine- dipping umbilical cords
Iodine scrub-to clean wounds
antibiotics- I have several kind on hand, ask your vet what you should have in stock
Banamine--for pain control
CMPK-to treat milk fever in goats and cattle
antibiotic ointment- wound care
triple antibiotic eye ointment
probiotic paste- to treat a tummy ache
peroxide- wound cleaning (only use once to clean a wound otherwise it causes damage to cell regrowth)
corn syrup-I give it to weak baby critters to give them energy

Thank you to Amanda Milton at Countryside Large Animal Hospital for editing my list. http://www.csidevet.com/

I am fortunate enough to have a Large Animal Anesthesiologist in my family,  who I can contact with animal questions and emergencies.  Remember, every state is different with rules and regulations on drugs and their use.   What one state will allow you to purchase many not hold true in another state.   Having a good rapport  with your local vet can make dealing with  life's little emergencies a little easier.  (Always ask your vet how and when it is appropriate  to use certain drugs.)

Please use caution when storing drugs and medical supplies if children and animals are present.   My medical cabinet has locks on it, which is important since I have young children. 

Buck kid with broken leg
Here is an example of the use of some of the items in my emergency cabinet.   I went out into the barn a couple of weeks ago and noticed one of my three day old kid goats had a compound fracture.    I used 4x4 surgical sponges for padding (after I applied triple antibiotic ointment),  tongue depressors on each side of the fracture (from my kids craft supplies),  more 4x4 over the depressors for more padding,  first aide tape to hold in place, I put his leg in the thumb and used part of the hand of a glove to keep everything dry and clean,  then once again wrapped with first aide tape.    I had to administer antibiotics that were suggested by the vet.    An animal with this type of injury should be taken to the vet to have ex-rays, and have the bone set which usually requires surgery.  Most often when there is a compound fracture, the vet will suggest putting the goat down.  Compound fractures in animals often cause severe infection which may result in death.  

I am happy to report that three weeks out from his fracture my little buck kid is doing very well.  He is putting pressure on his leg, running and playing like his siblings.  I think we might have gotten lucky  this time.  

Nebraska Prairie Girl

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