Emergency First Aid for Dogs and Cats

The Martha Stewart Show, October 2010

If something happens to your dog or cat late at night, when veterinarians may be unavailable, don't panic. With a basic knowledge of emergency care and a well-stocked first-aid kit, you can treat many common pet problems at home, says Dr. Peter Kross of Manhattan's Rivergate Veterinary Clinic.

Caring for Dogs
Eye Irritation: Use 1 percent saline solution to flush eyes.

Bite Wounds: Clean and treat wound with hydrogen peroxide and triple antibiotic ointment.

Garbage Raid: Give dog white bread and butter if simply want something to pass. If concerned about toxic substances, call poison control.

Bee Sting or Allergies: Give Benadryl pills for generalized allergies and cream for topical rash. Go to the emergency vet if pet is in distress.

Caring for Cats
Gash in Skin from Grooming: Clean wound with peroxide, cover with bandage and tube sock, and place paper collar over cat's head.

Trimmed Nails Too Short: Place talc on nail bed to stop bleeding

Pet Emergency Kit
Dr. Kross recommends keeping the following items on hand in a first-aid kit for pets:

  • Saline solution
  • Hydrogen peroxide
  • Antibiotic ointment
  • Benadryl
  • Bandages
  • Talc
  • Thermometer
  • Pedialyte or Gatorade
  • Aspirin
  • Kaopectate
  • Lanacane cream
  • Mineral oil
  • Vaseline


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