Sunday, June 5, 2011

My First Aid Kit & An Update

I have a great first aid kit in a bucket. I acquired a red, square bucket several years ago and it became my first aid kit. I'd love a 2nd one as my supplies have increased over time. I may have to consider a red tote, but a bucket with a snap on lid is easier to carry around and stays MUCH cleaner inside. If it tips, the lid stays on. It also makes a handy seat in moments of need too.

I use to leave it in my van that pulled the horse trailer so I had it on the road, and yet it was available at home when needed. Now it's here in the house and still easily accessible in times of need. It has been a great item to have on hand! I recommend that everyone start some sort of a kit. Make sure it's visible to your children and other adults who may be sent to grab it in an emergency. If you use a white one, get some RED tape or a red sharpie or paint and make 4 large first aid crosses so it's highly visible as "the kit" in a hurry or "panic". It can be a life saver and also a stress relief for humans when you have it handy and supplied.

Most of your supplies can start with the basics and gradually work up to what you are able to use and do in an emergency situation and for daily care of serious injuries. As you develop confidence and more abilities, keep adding to it so it's always supplied with anything you might need.

With Wrapper's broken leg, a realization that I hadn't thought of is that I need to get some better splint materials put in my big animal first aid bucket for goat kids of the small variety (ND's). It's also time to get a few more rolls of vet wrap and more padding materials that are goat-sized. Most of what is in my bucket are horse supplies!

Weight-wise, in Wrapper's situation, flat plastic might be a better splint option. I'll have to keep my eyes open at the stores and make a trip through the hardware store. Maybe they have some balsa wood that would be flat, narrow strips that might be strong enough for an ND kid and yet light-weight to not add to the body's stress or the injury's ability to heal quickly. I thought of kids' school type rulers, but I don't want a plastic that will shatter, chip and leave sharp edges for cuts. I need the bottom to be something that that can be aligned and sit flat and stable on the floor/ground for stability and safety. The top needs to be something that won't puncture or cause problems in the belly and pelvic area when laying down, getting up, and moving around. Comfort is a large concern so the animal is able to be still and rest the injury for successful healing.

Depending on the animals you have, baby diapers can be great for bandaging horse hooves as well as duct tape to help make the bandage water proof and more durable. Feminine hygene products can be pretty handy for some types of wound padding. They also are non-stick so won't adhere so badly to the wound. The plastic backing is handy to help keep fluids from soaking into contact with a wound too! Mud, rain, dew, and pee can sure be detrimental to a wound. So with animals, there's more to consider than just keeping a wound clean from debris and pests. Vet wrap is great, but duct tape is more water resistant.

Some things can be found reasonably priced at WalMart and such. Most of the best are going to be found at vet supply places or the larger human medical supply places. Supplying a kit is something to keep an eye out while shopping to get the best deals and to find products in a size for the animals you'll be using them on.

A first aid kit is really something every homestead, farm, ranch should have if they have livestock. I highly recommend you start one, even if the first thing you have is an empty bucket you get the red crosses on and pick up a pair (or 2) of scissors and roll of duct tape at the dollar store! I bet you already have some supplies on hand. If you don't have a designated container, they might be spread out which leaves you pondering if you have all you need for tending to a treatment. It can also leave you running back and forth to grab what you didn't think of. Plus, you can add designated scissors (2 pair - general type and kitchen type), etc which are where they belong and don't need washed, etc.

You really should take that first couple steps and then add to your kit as you can.

Update on Wrapper: He's doing great today. He's still needing a bit of pain relief as he's periodically (when it wears off), doing a bit of teeth grinding if he's up following me around. He's found he can lay and scratch his horn/ear area on his head with his good leg. I'm doing the scratching for the broken leg. He comes to me to have it scratched now instead of trying to figure out how to get some relief. I'm pleased with his progress. I just wish he didn't have to relieve himself when he's followed me to the kitchen! I need to get my hay bag (canvas with a access hole on the side) and hang it on the door handle. He is making quite a mess with the hay I brought him as it catches on the splint and gets drug and dispersed widely. He could lay and eat from it by hanging it on the door.

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