Packing a Ferret First Aid Kit

by amy brockman · 0 comments ===> Tags: ,

Learn what should be included in a ferret first aid kit.

You never know when accidents are going to happen, so it never hurts to be prepared. A pet first aid kit is something you can easily make up yourself, and just knowing it’s there, fully stocked and ready to go at a moments notice provides a great sense of security and peace of mind.

Your Pet’s Information

To get started, choose a waterproof plastic box. Store a copy of each of the following records in a resealable plastic bag. In the event that you’re not able to get in to see your normal vet during an emergency, these records will save valuable time bringing a new vet up to speed regarding the medical history of your pet.

You’ll want to create a separate set of records for each pet in the family and include the following:

  • Your name, address, and phone number.
  • Your pet’s name, breed, color or markings, date of birth, weight, and microchip number.
  • Notes about any special medical conditions or allergies the pet may have.
  • List of any medications he or she is currently taking along with notes about dosage.
  • Your regular veterinarian’s name and phone number.
  • The name, address, and phone number of your preferred emergency pet clinic.
  • Vaccination records.
  • Any other medical records which would be relevant in case your pet needs medical help.

Once you’ve created this file, it’s important to update these records on a regular basis. Mark your calendar and make a plan to check regularly to make any updates which are necessary. At the same time, plan to check contents of the kit for outdated medicine or any items which have been used and need replaced.

Instruments & Equipment

Having the proper tools and equipment in your kit allows you to face a medical emergency quickly and with confidence knowing you have what is needed to handle the job. You’ll want to make sure you have the following:

  • Pen light – in case extra light is needed.
  • Electric heating pad, chemical heat pack or thermal blankets for keeping sick ferrets warm. Remember, however, ferrets cannot tolerate heat above about 75 degrees. Use a heating pad with caution and always add several layers of towels or blanket between the pad and the ferret.
  • Chemical activated cooling pads – to cool down hot ferrets. A permanent supply of frozen ice packs in the freezer is also a great idea.
  • Rectal thermometer – for taking temperature. Normal temps for a ferret are between 101 and 103 degrees.
  • Rubber or latex gloves.
  • Tongue depressors –
  • Tweezers – to remove splinters or other small foreign objects from wounds.
  • Ear cleanser – to soften and remove wax or other build-up in the ears.
  • Nail clippers – for trimming torn or pulled nails.
  • Washcloths or towels – can be useful for cleaning, for keeping ferret warm or cool, and for tying together to form a sling.
  • Small plastic atomizer – can be used to spray down an overheated ferret.
  • Baby wipes – useful for cleaning up.
  • Syringe – useful for giving liquid medicines. Also useful for cleaning wounds with sterile water or saline solution. The stream of liquid flushes out particles of dirt and debris.
  • Scissors – for cutting.
  • Pill crusher – for pulverizing medicine which is in pill form so it can be mixed with liquid.

Medical Supplies

Trauma injuries, such as bleeding, bone fractures or burns are the focus of most first aid kits. You’ll want an assortment of items such as bandages and dressings as well as proper supplies for cleaning and sterilizing.

  • Hydrogen peroxide – useful for disinfecting wounds.
  • Styptic powder or bee’s wax – used to stop bleeding. (Cornstarch can also be used in a pinch, but only for minor bleeding such as a nail trimmed too short, never for open wounds.)
  • Cotton balls and cotton swabs – for cleaning and applying ointments.
  • Saline – for cleaning wounds or washing out foreign bodies from eyes.
  • Petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline) – for lubricating thermometer before taking temperature. Can also be used to prevent bandages from sticking to the wound.
  • Dressings – must be sterile since they are applied directly to the wound. Include gauze pads and wraps.
  • Adhesive bandage tape – for securing the dressings in place.
  • Antibiotic ointment, such as Neosporin – for treating minor wounds which do not go entirely through the layers of skin.
  • Aleo vera gel – useful for treating burns, also for treating itching, and dry skin. Can be used as a substitute for triple-antibiotic ointment to keep a wound moist and prevent bandages from sticking.
  • Betadine – an iodine antiseptic solution used for cleaning minor wounds.
  • Desitin – useful for more than diaper rash, its excellent soothing properties are also ideal for treating minor skin irritations.

Medication

    CAUTION: Some human medications are toxic to ferrets and should not be given. The medications listed below are commonly given to ferrets and are generally considered to be safe when correct dosages are given. Call your veterinarian for suggested dosage.

  • Pediatric Liquid Benadryl – useful for treating upper respiratory infection, also used for stings and allergic reactions.
  • Immodium liquid
  • Kaopectate or Pepto Bismol
  • Bene-Bac – can be purchased as a liquid or a powder to be mixed with water. Contains beneficial bacteria which are fed to the ferret and help to eliminate diarrhea.
  • Vet-prescribed pain relief – speak to your vet about obtaining as-needed first aid kit pain relief. Do not use human prescription or over-the-counter pain medications for pets. Some medications, like Tylenol, are poisonous and may be fatal to pets.

Food & Supplements

  • Ferretone/Linatone – helpful in distracting the pet while giving treatment and for flavoring medicines.
  • Canola or olive oil – fed like Ferratone, is helpful when fed as a treat to disctract the ferret while treatment is given, also can be used to mix with medicines so they are taken easier.
  • Hairball preventative (Petromalt or Laxatone) – can be given if an intestinal obstruction is suspected. Is often given routinely as well, especially during shedding season.
  • Can of Hill’s Prescription Diet a/d Feline Critical Care can food – high quality wet cat food, easier to feed and to digest than dry kibble. (A supply of homemade Duck Soup in the freezer is a good emergency plan as well although less portable than can food. As always, feeding these items occasionally as a treat BEFORE illness is a good way to guarantee they will eat it when sick.)
  • Chicken or lamb baby food – easier to feed and to digest than dry kibble.
  • Light Karo syrup or NutriCal – sweet, useful in the case of a low-sugar episode to bring sugar level back up.
  • Electrolyte solution such as Pedialyte or Gatorade, or better yet Rebound OES, which is chicken flavored making it tastier to the ferret and therefore easier to feed. Used to get liquids into the ferret to prevent dehydration.

Taking It a Step Further

Learn how to use it – take a class on pet first aid through the Red Cross.

Download a pet first aid app to your iPhone or Adroid phone. There are several different ones available.

Leave a comment below. What do you keep in your ferret emergency kit?

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