Every place where people and dogs gather to train should be equipped with a well-stocked first aid kit and manual. Instructors and assistants should be prepared to assist with injuries ranging from skinned knees to heart attacks. Of course, I can’t cover all that information in this column but I will review what should be in your kit, some suggestions for the person in charge, and food for thought about your emergency plan.
Mark your first aid kit as such and keep it in an easily accessible location. You can purchase a kit already put together or you can do it yourself. Remember, you could possibly be treating a dog or a person or both. The kit should contain the following:
• Cotton – roll and balls • Gauze – rolls and pads
• Band aids – several sizes • Adhesive tape
• Tweezers • Scissors
• Hydrogen peroxide • Antiseptic towelettes
• Instant ice compress • Ammonia inhalant
• Muzzles – several sizes • Clean blanket
The definition of first aid is: First aid is the temporary and immediate care of a person or animal that is injured, prevention of further injury or death, pain relief, and shock counter action until medical aid can be obtained.
One person should be in charge of the emergency situation. The responsibilities of that person are:
• Be calm, take command, and enlist help from others as needed.
• Keep injured person or dog lying down and quiet – be reassuring.
• Look for life-endangering conditions – take care of the most serious injury first.
• Send for medical aid immediately in all serious injuries – be specific in your request.
• Keep onlookers away from victims.
The situations that require first aid should be considered PRIOR to the emergency. The Red Cross can provide you with the training you need to be effective in an emergency, so put contacting the Red Cross at the top of your things-to-do list. Some possible first aid scenarios are: dog bite (a human or a dog could get bitten), bug bite, or bee sting (again human or dog); scraped knee; hurt pad; and heart attack. You may need to perform artificial resuscitation (human or dog), wrap a wound, or move the wounded.
Do you know the answers to these questions?
• Where is the nearest telephone?
• If the injured is a dog do you know how to explain to a driver how to get to the nearest emergency veterinary clinic?
• How can you use a blanket for moving an injured dog?
• Are you able to identify a victim in shock?
• Do you know where to find the pulse of a dog?
The result of writing this column for me has been to replenish my first aid kit and brush up on my first aid procedures. I hope it does the same for you and that we never have to use any of it!
©1996 Carol Cronan