Greyhound First Aid

Summer is here and soon we will be outside a lot. AND our greyhounds will be there with us enjoying the nice weather. We think it’s a good time to consider what you would do if your hound gets injured or sick. Often, we don’t think about this until it becomes necessary. And when something happens, we often don’t have the presence of mind to know what to do immediately.

Before going further, please take the time to look in your phone book and find the phone numbers of veterinarians who are located close to you. Post those numbers someplace where they are easily accessible. (This past holiday, we had two hounds that needed vet care and both were located in areas where most of the vets were closed and no emergency services were available.) You may want to call those vets in your area to find out what their hours are and if they take emergency cases.

If you have emergency vet services in your area, please keep the phone numbers handy and learn exactly where they are located in case you need to get there right away. You can find the names of all of the emergency vets that we know of in our area by going to our web site and clicking on our Greytlinks page.

Before you do anything else, check to make sure that all of your vet records are up to date and in one place in case you need them in a hurry. Your adoption folder may be the best place to keep all of your records in one place. Also, make copies of your records and keep a set in your car in case your dog gets sick away from home. Keep copies of any medication that your hound has to take in case you run out while on vacation.

If you want to prepare for an emergency, you can put together a first aid kit that has essential items right in one place. In fact, if you are going to prepare a kit, why not prepare two kits and keep one in your car? It may be one of the best decisions you ever made!!!

What do you put in a greyhound first aid kit? We can help! Listed below are some things that we think would be a fairly complete kit with all that you’ll need. You don’t have to have it ALL but what you have ready to use in case of an emergency could mean the difference between life and death someday. WE HOPE NOT ever, but it always pays to be prepared. Many of the items we suggest you may already have in your home and you can collect. The rest of it can be purchased without great expense. Here’s a list:

GENERAL ITEMS:

• waterproof foil rescue blanket
• wooden tongue depressors
• small magnifying glass
• medium to large scissors
• small (cuticle style) scissors
• travel water bowl
• small towel and washcloth
• latex gloves
• hand sanitizer
• muzzle
• extra collar
• zip lock bags (small and large)
• tweezers (several types)
• eye dropper or oral dose syringe
• rectal thermometer for dogs
• copies of vet records
• suture kit
• pencil and notepad
• instant ice pack
• safety pins or clips
• Thera Paw boot(s) or baby socks
• extra six foot leash
• sharp sterile knife or blade

STERILE BANDAGES AND DRESSINGS:

• vet wrap (2 and 4 inch widths)
• self-adhering athletic bandage – 3 inch width
• self-adhering athletic bandage – 6 inch width
• Telfa, sterile, non-adherent pads (various sizes)
• waterproof tape
• finger sleeve bandages (for happy tail)
• sterile elastic bandage – 2 inches by 4 yards
• hypoallergenic porous tape
• roll of cotton
• gauze sponges (various sizes)
• square gauze pads (various sizes)
• cotton swabs
• cotton balls
• liquid bandage (from vet – Facilitator brand)
• unscented disposable diapers

ORAL MEDICATIONS (check with your vet for correct dosages):

• Pepto Bismol tablets
• Benadryl (25mg. for allergies/insect bites)
• Immodium tablets or
• kaopectate tablets
• low dose buffered aspirin
• Pedialyte
• Rymadil
• Rescue Remedy
• extra prescription medications

WOUND CLEANING SOLUTIONS:

• alcohol swabs
• artificial tears
• hydrogen peroxide – 1% solution
• small bottle of spring water
• Betadine solution (Povidone-iodine 5%)
• ear cleansing solution
• sterile eye wash
• sterile saline spray or solution

TOPICAL MEDICATIONS:

• Ynamite all natural wound salve
• Granulex spray (for treating open wounds that don’t require stitches)
• eye lubricating ointment
• hydrocortisone cream
• bag balm ointment or petroleum jelly
• EMT salve
• triple antibiotic ointment

If you are planning to put together a first aid kit to carry in your car, don’t forget to add a “squawker,” the call that they use at the track to train the dogs to return.  They are a little expensive, but they are worth the money if your dog gets loose.
Since we are on the subject of health emergencies and first aid, don’t forget that your greyhound will not do well in heat. Don’t leave your dog outside on hot days for too long or expose him/her to a lot of sun.

If you plan to take your hound to outdoor events this summer, always be vigilant and pay attention to how they are handling the heat. It doesn’t take much for them to suffer from heat exhaustion (which could really make them sick!). They could even suffer seizures!

If you are going to be out for any length of time, make sure there is lots of shade, plenty of water, and take things easy. If you are hot, they are REALLY hot! Use a spray bottle of water to cool your hound down as well as a cool damp cloth for wiping paws. They sweat through their feet so cool water on their feet will make them feel good and cool them down! Please have fun and be careful!!!

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