Vets are limited to seeing urgent and emergency cases, but what if your pet suffers from a non-urgent illness or injury?
Firstly, remember your vet can still do a telephone or video consult and post out medication. BUT in this blog we are going to give you a list of equipment and easily available medication so you can treat things at home!
ANTISEPTICS - if your pet sustains a laceration, graze, bite wound or even a hot spot you will need to clean the area with an antiseptic, there are two great products we use all of the time:
Hibiscrub (chlorhexidine gluconate) is an antimicrobial skin cleanser that removes surface bacteria from the skin. Simply dilute 1:10 with warm water and use cotton wool to clean the area twice daily.
Leucillin is an anti-bacterial, anti-viral and anti-fungal solution, that kills up 99.99999% of germs. This reliable, innovative and affordable spray provides a powerful solution to combat a wide variety of pathogen. Simply spray on cuts, abrasions and stings.
CREAMS FOR RASHES AND GRAZES - there are a variety of both natural and medical creams we can apply to skin to soothe it:
Marigold or calendula cream (Calendula officinalis) is a member of the sunflower family and is considered a versatile herbal and homeopathic remedy. It can be applied as an ointment on wounds, cuts, abrasions, rashes, or insect bites. Calendula speeds healing and decreases inflammation and it has antimicrobial activities to decrease infection.
Aloe Vera gel is most effective on skin issues. It’s not only rich in vitamins A, C and E but it is a clinically proven antibacterial, antiviral and anti-inflammatory, it also has an anti-fungal effect so works well on yeasty skin!
Hydrocortisone cream 1% is a topical steroid cream which we know is extremely effective for contact dermatitis, rashes, insect bites and stings. It's super cheap too at only £2.99 per tube!
Sudocrem is favoured by a lot of pet owners but is does come with a word of warning! This cream contains zinc oxide which is toxic to dogs if ingested in large quantities. If you are using this on your pet only use it in places they cannot reach to lick it off or use a buster collar to stop them from reaching it!
FOR BATHING PAWS - we are now in allergy season so your pet may suffer from yeasty itchy feet or interdigital cysts, there are a few products we can use to help them:
Hibiscrub diluted 1:10 is perfect for killing the secondary bacteria we find on itchy feet, clean in-between the pads and underneath the paw twice daily and dry.
Malabeze shampoo is a deep cleansing and deodorising shampoo which can be used to help alleviate most of the common dermatological (skin) conditions found in dogs and cats. Containing soothing and moisturising qualities which allows frequent washing if necessary, the pleasant-smelling shampoo has a neutral pH and is non-irritating on the skin. Malabeze Shampoo has all the advantages of a medicated shampoo without the need for a prescription and offers a fast contact time. To use it wet the feet, then lather on the shampoo, leave for 5 minutes then rinse and dry.
Epsom salt bathing is a great way to encouraging interdigital cysts to burst. Empty a cup of epsom salts into a basin of hot water and bathe the paw for 10 minutes 2-3 times daily.
CLEANING FACIAL FOLDS can be especially important for our bull breeds. There are two products we use:
Hibiscrub again at a 1:10 dilution with warm water, be careful near the eyes.
CLX wipes are durable cleansing wipes for your pet that have antibacterial and antifungal properties. CLX Animal Wipes have chlorhexidine, TrisEDTA, climbazole and zinc gluconate which act together for daily cleaning of the skin and skin folds.
EYE injuries can happen very frequently to our pets so it makes sense to keep some products at home:
Saline eye wash is really useful to flush a sore eye especially if you think it may have some grit or sand in for example after a walk on the beach.
Golden eye drops (Chloramphenicol) are an easy way to treat minor eye infections and irritations such as conjunctivitis and blepharitis. It also relieves eye symptoms such as redness, soreness, sties and a feeling of grittiness in the eyes.
Hypromellose or Viscotears are artificial tears, they are used to relieve eye dryness and soreness, particularly where the dryness is caused by a reduced flow of tears. They moisten, soothe and lubricate the surface of the eye, making it feel more comfortable.
EAR CLEANERS can be used as part of a maintenance regime to maintain clean ears or where there is an infection to remove wax and debris so antibiotic ear drops can be more effective.
Trizaural is an anti-bacterial ear cleaner, it is useful where gram negative bacteria has been identified in cytology testing. Trizaural increases the effect of topical antibiotics, it is also non irritant so is gentle on very sore and inflamed ears.
Malacetic Aural is antibacterial and anti-fungal ear flush. It is useful in dogs where bacteria and yeast have been identified. It is also good for maintaining a healthy environment in "at risk" ears, e.g. in dogs that swim. However, it may irritate sensitive ears and should not be used where the ear is very inflamed or ulcerated.
Apple cider vinegar diluted 50:50 with water can also be used to clean the ears (use soaked cotton wool balls).
ANTHISTAMINES can be useful to use immediately after a bee sting or if you pet comes out in hives or a rash. Several brands can be used but at different doses and frequencies!
Piriton or Chlorphenamine comes in 4mg tablets and can be given at a dose of 1-2 tablets per dog every 8 hours.
Piriteze/Zyrtec or Ceterizine comes in 10mg tablets and can be given at a dose of 1mg/kg/day for example a 10kg dog could have 1 tablet per day.
Loratidine also comes in 10mg tablets, the dose of this is 5-15mg per dog per day.
VOMITING - if you pet stars to vomit the easiest thing you can do from home is put them in a plain diet for example cooked chicken or turkey mince, and a small amount of mashed sweet potato. Bone broth and canned pumpkin are also great for a sore tummy.
DIARRHOEA - its a great idea to have a pre and pro-biotic and clay paste in the house to use if your dog has diarrhoea, these help to restore the gut microflora and bind toxins. Examples of these are Vet Creche Digestive care paste, promax and prokolin.
PAIN RELIEF - we are quite limited for pain killers that are safe to use in our pets, if you think your pet is in pain you should call your vet. One pain killer we can use is:
Paracetamol tablets, these come in 500mg tablets. The dose is 10mg/kg twice daily so a 25kg dog can have half a tablet twice daily.
Paracetamol suspension (infant calpol) comes in a concentration of 120mg/5ml, so a 5kg dog could have 2mls twice daily. Just remember not to buy sugar free calpol as this can contain xylitol which is poisonous.
Heat pad - you can also use a heat pad on sore joints and sprains to provide some relief.
OTHER ITEMS you would find useful in a first aid kit are:
KY jelly or vaseline
Non-adherent dressing pads