So it seems we are all going to be limited in our movements for the next good while, it is therefore super important that you are as prepared as you can be to take care of your pets if they get into scrapes or general naughtiness.
What I wanted to cover therefore in this blog is just some tips on things to include in a Doggie First Aid kit, and how to ensure you are best equipped to cope with any eventuality. Note: Do not hesitate to still get your dog to the Vet in cases of emergency, such as poisoning or bloat or serious injury; and if symptoms continue over more than 48 hours. The Vets are still operating as they are considered an essential service.
The following are a list of items that I have and that I recommend getting hold of if you can. Alot of these items are readily available in health stores, supermarkets or if need be online stores like Amazon; some of them we have made up for you too in our product range:
Gauze, tape and Vetwrap: The vetwrap is the self sticking bandages that the vet puts on; it is actually very easy to use, and very handy to have if you get anything like cut pads or an injury that requires keeping clean. It is also an idea to have something to hand like a booty or plastic cover (the vets often use old saline/drip bags!) if you need to take your dog out in the rain and need to keep any bandaging dry.
Iodine Vet Wash: You can buy this in various named brands and formats, but it is essentially an antiseptic, antibacterial and antifungal wash that can be used to clean out any wounds.
Holistic Hound Heal Me Quick Spray is a must! This spray contains herbal infusions to
control bleeding, antibacterial and antiviral cleansing, promote healing and soothing.
If you would rather use your own herbs or individual herbal treatments, then look for the following:
Yarrow hydrosol – stops bleeding
Oregano Oil – antibacterial
Calendula Oil – wound healing
St Johns Wort Oil – nerve injuries
I won't list useful tinctures here as they can be tricky to get hold of and ideally you need to know what works well with what, and how to balance the combinations.
Aloe gel: Aloe gel, whether from a shop or your own plant, is great for cooling, healing and soothing wounds, stings, burns. If you have your own plant, simply cut off a leaf, leave it to stand for 20 mintues in a dish to let the green bitter sap run out, and then peel off the outer layer to leave the gel which can then be used straight away. The Aloe Gel is also a great base for making up your remedies including some of the herbs listed above.
Slippery elm or Marshmallow root powder. Both of these are really handy for any digestive troubles, from sickness and diarrhoea, to constipation. So if you have a dog that has a bout of garbage disease then this is definitely one to have to hand. Add a small amount (1/2 to 1 tsp depending on dog size) to their food, or if you are not currently feeding add a bit of water and make up a paste that they will then lick.
Turmeric powder: This is great for reducing any inflammation, and is antiviral, antibacterial, antifungal. I highly recommend using it, mixed with a small amount of manuka, on sebaceous cysts and small open wounds. I also recommend it for treating kennel cough, mixed with coconut oil and honey. And it can also help soothe a sore throat, dog and human!
Arnica: This is a homeopathic remedy, and you can get it as a cream or as the little pills. It is great for any trauma from accidents, bruising, muscle strain, joint injuries, broken bones, and shock. 200c potency remedy for emergencies, although even the 30c will be good to have to hand (I refer more to homeopathic remedies further down).
Bach’s Rescue remedy: A great flower essence to have to hand for shock/emotional trauma. You might even find it useful to take if you are feeling particularly anxious at this given situation.
Medical grade manuka honey (400+) . This amazing honey is a fabulous wound healer, and also great for soothing sore throats and easing coughs and colds. Use very sparingly as (a) it is very potent - so if you are using on a wound/blister/ulcer you literally need half a fingernail at most. (b) It is expensive - you pay for what you get with manuka; if it is cheap it aint the real deal. There are a lot of "blends" on the market nowadays which contain only a fraction of manuka, so be warned!
Colloidal silver. Available in most health stores now, this is a natural antibiotic, and antibacterial/antiviral properties. The spray bottles are best. However, they do not keep too long, so if you have an old one in the cupboard it might be time for an upgrade!
O’Tom tick twister tool: In my opinion, after spending many hours removing ticks
from many creatures, this is one of the best methods for safely removing ticks. And tick season is well and truly upon us.So checking your pets for ticks needs to start now; they are opportunistic and the teeny tiny nymphs can be carried on a strong breeze, so don't think you are safe just because your pets are in the garden. For prevention of ticks hanging on we would also recommend our Ticked Off product
Homeopathic key remedies to have to hand:
Carbo Veg: collapse
Arnica: injury & shock
Belladonna: Illness with temperature
Ars. Alb: Food poisoning
Hep. Sulph: Skin & ear & anal gland infections
Thuja & Lysine: Pre and post vaccination
Nux Vom: Digestive upset & sickness/diarrhea
Rhus Tox: Aches & pains in joints/muscles
Silica: Splinters; poor hair/skin/nail condition
I personally would recommend getting hold of the Helios basic 18 remedy pack, which contains most if not all of these.
Oats! Yep, good old fashioned household oats! If your dog runs into a patches of nettles, or comes out in an environmental allergy and is super itchy, then I recommend making up a very runny mix of blended oats with water that you can then use as a rinse. This will take out the itch and the immediate inflammation of the situation and give your dog a bit of peace.
Poisoning. If you have a suspected case of poisoning, you must get to a Vet straight away. However, it is handy to get your dog started on detox on you don't want to delay, It is therefore useful to have either some deactivated charcoal; dried seaweed or green clay which you can administer to your dog en-route to vet
Digestive Supports: Prevention is often better than cure, so these can be given irrespective of any illness.
Probiotics – kefir, sauerkraut, acidophilus – should definitely be given during/post antibiotics
Prebiotic – artichoke leaf, chicory root – given at same time as probiotics
Milk thistle seed – a great herb to support liver function, so should be given after any treatment or illness that has put stress on the liver.
We have our Eat Me mix which has a good range of herbs which tick both the nutritive herbs and health support herb range.
Pain Meds: I always keep a bottle of Metacam or Loxicom in the fridge for emergencies. When a dog is in pain you need to use something that is going to help with that straight away; herbs will only address pain in the longer term. If you don't have veterinary pain meds then you can use liquid paracetamol (like the stuff you get for kids), dosage at 0.1ml per 1kg dog weight (can be given twice daily; metacam and loxicom are once a day)
Our other products which I always have to hand in my cupboards, and I use them for both our dogs and ourselves include:
Dog Eared - great for general ear cleaning, maintenance and nipping that ear inflammation and irritation in the bud
Bright Eyes - again is a good maintenance product for dogs with eye issues, but very handy to have should they get something in their eyes or have a one off irritation
Calm & Balmy - if your dog has anxiety of any level, and of any cause, then this is also great to have on hand.
Move Your Mutt gel: I have this ready for any strains, sprains or bruising that can happen in the blink of an eye, when your dog is having is mad 5 minutes or happens to catch himself in a pothole
Hope you find this helpful. Any other suggestions to add to the list always welcome :o)