What’s in Your Pet First Aid Kit?
From the perspective of canine massage, first aid includes the gentle manipulation of the dog’s body, his environment and his activities. We use
- healing touch and /or Reiki
- acupressure and meridian rebalancing
- leadership through body language
- breath control
- anxiety control
- positioning for comfort and controlled blood flow
- applications of ice or heat, compression
- restricted access to the injury or monitored licking.
In addition to bodywork, and often before massage is administered, you may need to treat your dog with items that you have in your pantry. Here are some of the natural components we suggest:
Cool water. Purified water kept in a spray bottle can cool overheated pets. For the fastest results, spray near the pulse points, the “armpits” and where fur is the thinnest. Further, a vet will assess if clinical hydration is needed beyond the water bowl.
Saline solution. Versatile saline is available at the vet’s office or any pharmacy, and also easy and inexpensive to make at home. Use it to flush debris from eyes, clean wounds and promote healing from incisions. Two teaspoons of non-iodized salt in four cups of boiled water mimics body fluids. The Ohio State University Medical Center website provides a recipe for normal saline solution at Tinyurl.com/SalineRecipe.
Vinegar. It acts as a drying agent, especially for floppy eared dogs taking a dip in a pool or natural waterway, which can leave the inner ear moist. ” Don’t use vinegar if the skin is red or broken because it will be painful,” Jules Benson, DVM.
Honey. Apply this sweet unguent to gums to heal, counteract low blood sugar and shock, particularly when a diabetic pet’s insulin levels are off.
Sugar. Although not recommended in a regular pet diet, sugar can be a topical antibacterial for the short terms. Sugar draws water from the wound and dehydrates bacteria, supporting growth of new tissue.
Plain yogurt. Adding this healthy refrigerated topping to dry food will activate a sluggish appetite and supply needed cultures to help balance the digestive system.
Cornstarch. This non-toxic remedy helps stop minor bleeding from cuts, scrapes and pedicure accidents.
Calendula. Also known as pot marigold, calendula cream may be used as an anti-inflammatory. Bug bites, scrapes, sunburn and itching from allergies also benefit from its application. Our calendula tea sprayed liberally on their coats keeps mosquitos and flies away from our dogs.
Aloe. Easily grown in a garden or pot and available in gel form, aloe sooths burns, prevents blisters and speeds healing. It also serves as canine Chapstick. “Older dogs often have cracked skin and keeps the dog comfortable.”
Rescue Remedy. Illness or injury brings stress, and one common solution is Rescue Remedy. To relieve fear or anxiety, rub it into a paw, nose or ears or add the recommended number of drops to water, a treat or food. This combination of flower essences helps dogs, cats, horses, birds, fish and even iguanas. Dosage relies on the extent of stress rather than weight or species.
Clean cloths. For bee stings or insect bites on the body, cool compresses can reduce swelling and itching. Wet a washcloth with cold water or for larger welts, wrap an ice pack in a towel and apply for a few minutes at a time. For stings on the face or mouth, it’s best to go to the vet’s office immediately so that airways don’t swell up and hinder breathing.