On the farm, we work hard, and we play hard. Injuries are almost inevitable. They are something we never want to think about, but we want to be prepared for. One of the most vital (and often overlooked) parts of animal care is a well-planned first aid kit.
As on most farms, The Urban Farmstead has animals. On Sunday our female Dalmatian, Kayla, got an ear injury. The injury itself wasn't all that deep, but the scene that ensued was not for the squeamish. Within seconds there was blood all over the deck, all over her white coat, and with an agile flap of her ears, all over the siding of the house. In short, our farmyard looked like a scene from CSI teaching rookies how to identify high velocity spatter patterns.
With a call to Farmer Mike for back up, I had a second set of hands to apply pressure to the ear and slow the bleeding. Into the house I went diving into the First Aid Kit and hoping I had planned for every contingency. Thankfully, I came back with multiple items that were perfect for the job. Using gauze, we continued to apply pressure and stop the bleeding. Then we used liquid bandage spray to help "glue" the skin flap that was nicked back into place. Finally, we used some self-adhesive wrap to hold her ear to her neck until the blood had a chance to clot.
Both Farmer Mike and I have taken First Aid and CPR classes through our local Red Cross and I highly recommend them. While the most essential tool in an emergency is a calm mind to clearly identify the problem and take action, it is so much easier to be calm when you feel well prepared.
Health to you and your fur family -
Update: Pictured to the right is Kayla 2 days after the injury looking "good as new". Just don't look too closely at the deck.
Some recommended items for a Pet First Aid kit by the Red Cross site: