Field First Aid Kit

This is not meant to be a replacement for a visit to the vet.  But, when out in the field with a dog, things happen and it’s best to be prepared for the worst.  The following is a list of some more common scenarios and supplies that may be helpful.


o Betadine – Dilute to the color of weak tea to clean an open wound.
o Non-stick telfa pad – Place over the wound to prevent adherence to the bandage material.
o Gauze – Use if absorbent material is needed.
o Bandage material (self adhering elastic bandage i.e. Vet Wrap) – Be careful not to wrap too tight as to cut off the blood circulation.  It is easier to prevent this by unrolling the material first then re-rolling the wrap before applying it to the dog.
o Staple gun (if you can get hold of one)

Eye injuries/Grass Seeds:

o Sterile saline – Flush out the eyes
o Forceps – Carefully lift the third eyelid to examine underneath for foreign material
o Sterile ophthalmic (antibiotic) ointment

Heat Stroke:

o Thermometer
o Water
Normal temperature for a dog ranges from 100 to 102.5F.  Heat stroke occurs at around 106F.  Other signs of heat stroke, in increasing severity, are: brick red gum color, rapid heart rate, blue gum color, mental dullness, bloody vomit or diarrhea, red spots on gum (indicates spontaneous bleeding), seizures, coma, and death.  The goal is to decrease the temperature to 103F within 10 minutes.  There is a risk of the temperature dropping too low, so ice water is reserved for unresponsive cases.

Broken Bones:

o Muzzle – brown gauze, nylons, soft leash or rope will do
o Makeshift splint – Find something lightweight but supporting (i.e. rolled newspaper.)
o Bandage material
o Tape
If a fracture is suspected it should be immobilized and the dog confined.  In the case of a lower leg fracture, a splint can be applied.

Soft tissue injuries:

o Anti-inflammatories – Check with your veterinarian for dosages.
o Ice (crushed ice in a pillow case or freeze 3:1 water and rubbing alcohol in a zip lock baggy) – Apply for 15-25 minute sessions.  Monitor skin for frostbite (pale or white discoloration.)

Ulcerated Pads:

o Betadine
o Booties, bandage material, or your favorite foot wrap material

Broken Toe Nail:

o Nail trimmer
o Surgical/tissue glue
o Booties or bandage material

Cocklebur Disaster:

o Comb


o Muzzle (after removing quills from mouth)
o Forceps, pliers or leatherman tool

Snake Bite:

A dog bitten by a venomous snake should be taken to a veterinary clinic immediately.  Immobilization of a bitten extremity may prevent venom spread.


o Immodium or kao-pectin


o Bloat tube and instructions
Risk factors for bloat: deep-chested dogs, high anxiety dogs, familial predisposition

ADR (Aint Doin’Right):

If you’re concerned your dog is not “right” here’s a quick checklist to go through.

· Mental alertness
· Temperature (Normal: 100-102.5 F)
· Mucous membrane color (Normal: pink)
· Capillary Refill Time – Push a fingertip on the gum to cause blanching.  When released, the pink color should return in 2 seconds.
· Pain – Gently, but firmly, go over the limbs, spine, and abdomen
· Pulse – The femoral pulse can be felt on the top part of the inner thigh.  A dogs heart rate ranges from 70-160 (the higher range for toy breeds.)

  • 2013

    June 2023
    S M T W T F S
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