Dear Christopher Cat
I read your column about first aid in your Web site archives. It was very thorough, but it neglected one important detail: What should I put in my pet first aid kit? I have two cats and one dog.
Start with a good pet first aid book, and read through it so the concepts will be familiar during an emergency.
To the lid of the first aid kit, tape a card with the phone numbers of your regular veterinarian, the after-hours emergency clinic (and driving directions), and the ASPCA animal poison control center (888-426-4435).
Then add these items to the first aid kit or store them nearby:
• Pet carrier and harness/leash
• Air Muzzle (for cats and small, flat-faced dogs) and dog muzzle
• Flashlight or penlight
• Rectal thermometer, petroleum jelly and disposable gloves
• Sterile saline solution to flush eyes and wounds; artificial tear gel to lubricate eyes (both available from the pharmacy or your veterinarian)
• Antiseptic wipes and over-the-counter antibiotic ointment
• Gauze pads, self-cling bandage, adhesive tape and scissors
• Hydrogen peroxide (3 percent) and oral dosing syringe to be used if your veterinarian recommends you induce vomiting
• Tweezers or forceps; tick remover
• Nail trimmer and styptic powder
To learn more about preparing for emergencies, visit the cat and dog indices (buttons on left of this page) and scroll down to Emergencies and Disasters.