First aid kit

Vet’s ad­vice

Sporting Gun - - GUNDOG HEALTH - SAM WATCH­MAN, LIN­COLNSHIRE Neil McIn­tosh SG’s gun­dog health ex­pert

That’s a good ques­tion! If I gave you my full an­swer, you would need to be tow­ing a large trailer around with you just to fit all the kit, never mind the car­a­vans for the vet and nurse. But here goes. Ev­ery first aid kit worth its salt is go­ing to have ban­dages, dress­ings, a wee pair of pretty use­less plas­tic scis­sors and some cot­ton wool. There may be some use­ful ad­di­tions you have not thought of…

Video call­ing

A de­cent mo­bile phone with your friendly vet’s tele­phone num­ber firmly plumbed in un­der “Vet”. These days, some clients shop around re­lent­lessly for the cheap­est deal for ev­ery vet­eri­nary item and there­fore fail to de­velop a great re­la­tion­ship and rap­port with any one vet. I have no doubt that costs them big time in the long run. I ap­pre­ci­ate my work­ing dog clients. I en­joy their com­pany. Gen­er­ally, (with the odd ex­cep­tion!) their dogs are more amenable to han­dling and there­fore eas­ier to treat. They don’t leave bad debt. For these sim­ple rea­sons, I am more than happy for them to send me a pic­ture or video of a wound or in­jury so that I can of­fer free first aid ad­vice. Tech­nol­ogy is now so good that “FaceTime” can al­low clear in­spec­tion of wounds, al­low­ing ap­pro­pri­ate ac­tion to be taken. I am happy to hand out my mo­bile num­ber to any­one that wants it. They all know if I don’t an­swer im­me­di­ately it is be­cause I can’t and I can hon­estly say in all these years it has never been abused.

Wa­ter

Plain sim­ple wa­ter. Bot­tled if you are on the hill. Tap wa­ter if you are near build­ings. A re­cent study by the NHS showed that tap wa­ter was as good as ster­ile saline and a great va­ri­ety of an­ti­sep­tics at clean­ing wounds. Wa­ter is con­sis­tent with the im­por­tant first aid prin­ci­ple; “First do no harm” be­cause it will not (un­less, of course, you sub­merge your pa­tient) make any­thing worse than it al­ready is. Wounds should be flushed with co­pi­ous quan­ti­ties to re­move de­bris and bac­te­ria. (Di­lu­tion, dear chap, is the so­lu­tion to pol­lu­tion!) My ad­vice is, when you think you’ve

flushed enough, flush one more time! Sim­i­larly red, sore eyes can be gen­tly ir­ri­gated over and over again.

An El­iz­a­bethan col­lar

Af­ter the ini­tial trauma comes self-trauma and this of­ten causes mi­nor wounds to be­come a big prob­lem. Con­trary to the old

“The ca­nine tongue does not pos­sess po­tent an­tibac­te­rial prop­er­ties” “I saw a few dogs suf­fer mi­nor in­juries last sea­son and their own­ers of­ten seemed un­pre­pared to deal with them. Is there a se­cret vet­eri­nary for­mula for a first aid kit?”

wives’ tale, the ca­nine tongue does not pos­sess po­tent anti-bac­te­rial prop­er­ties, nor can it cast a magic heal­ing spell. What it can do, how­ever, is turn a sim­ple cut into a chronic lick gran­u­loma that will plague a pa­tient for the rest of his days. Do not al­low dogs to lick wounds! Even the time taken to travel to the vets can be enough to do dam­age, so get the col­lar on right away.

A tourni­quet

There are some great lit­tle bungee cord type tourni­quets that your vet can sup­ply, which can be eas­ily ap­plied/re­moved with one hand. Apart from the ob­vi­ous use of pre­vent­ing death by se­vere blood loss, a tourni­quet can help­fully stem blood flow to al­low bet­ter in­spec­tion of a wound and can en­able a pres­sure type ban­dage to be put on, so that bleed­ing does not start again when the tourni­quet is re­moved. Re­mem­ber! Look at the time when you ap­ply it. It must be re­moved be­fore 15 min­utes or tis­sue dam­age will oc­cur. Al­ways have a vet check a pres­sure dress­ing. I have seen too many toes lost as a re­sult of tight ban­dages.

Fluid bag

A heavy duty poly­thene bag or, bet­ter still, a used in­tra­venous fluid bag that your friendly vet can pro­vide. Two rea­sons for this. Rea­son A: Once you’ve got that lovely ban­dage on, you want it to stay dry. Rea­son B: You can stick a cut foot in it and pre­vent your ve­hi­cle look­ing like an abat­toir, while im­press­ing your vet by not pad­ding blood all over his wait­ing room.

A mag­a­zine

Lastly, a good mag­a­zine, like this one. Faced with a bro­ken leg, fur­ther dam­age can be pre­vented by ap­ply­ing cot­ton wool. Rolling the mag­a­zine around the leg and ban­dag­ing on top – the pre­fect splint. Once at the vets, it gives you some­thing to read while he is op­er­at­ing…

Stan­dard kit

Ev­ery first aid kit worth its salt is go­ing to have ban­dages, dress­ings, a pair of scis­sors and cot­ton wool

Rap­port Most vets will be happy to of­fer first aid

ad­vice on the phone

Tap wa­ter

A re­cent NHS study showed tap wa­ter was as good as ster­ile saline at clean­ing wounds

Keep dry

Used drip bags, or a heavy duty poly­thene bag, are great for pro­tect­ing ban­dages

Flushed Wounds should be flushed with wa­ter to re­move de­bris and bac­te­ria

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