April is the American Red Cross’s Pet First Aid Awareness Month! Here are some vital pet first aid products you didn't know you already had.
Corn starch can be dabbed onto a broken or torn toenail to stop the bleeding. While styptic powder is a better choice, this common pantry item will do the trick in a pinch. Once the bleeding stops, encourage your pet to relax, and monitor for signs of infection.
This popular, inexpensive, over the counter medication can be safely given to dogs who are scratching, or exhibiting small, puffy welts. Large welts, hives, or facial swellings should NOT be medicated at home. Your pet will need injectable antihistamines to stave off anaphylactic shock. Take him to a veterinarian immediately.
Dogs can safely be given one milligram of Benadryl per pound of body weight up to every eight hours. NEVER EVER EVER give Benadryl Allergy with Decongestant, or any product containing a decongestant. The only active ingredient in the product should be diphehydramine. Pets may be drowsy after taking Benadryl.
A pet who has been vomiting needs to replace lost electrolytes. Most are happy to lap up unflavored Pedialyte. Spike it with a bit of healthy chicken broth (low fat, low sodium, no MSG) and he will find it irresistible. Do NOT give sports drinks, as they contain unhealthy amounts of sugar. The sugar free, or reduced calorie versions may contain artificial sweeteners that can lead to serious illness.
None of these remedies should ever be substituted for proper veterinary care. First aid is meant only as stop gap for a problem that can not be solved right away. Take your pet for a follow-up visit to your veterinarian as soon as you are able to do so.