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No matter what type of animals you have, you will eventually have an emergency involving them. It is just the way it goes when raising livestock or pets. Prevention may be the key, but being prepared is an even better motto.

It is impossible to be prepared for every single situation that could happen. It is also difficult to keep medicines and preventatives supplied for every type of animal you may have. Stock up on some of these first aid essentials and create a basic emergency kit for your barn, car, or wherever your animals may be. Some of the ingredients are human-friendly as well. Our list will help you cover the basics and you can then fill in with species-specific items as you see fit.

Antiseptics, Anti-Pain, Anti-Everythings

Antibiotic ointment
Antibiotics – oral, injectable, spray
Antiseptic/antibacterial hand gel
Antiseptic scrub, spray, wipes
Aspirin – (NEVER give to cats)
Baking soda – helpful for bloating issues
Blood-clotting wound powder
Cold compresses – instant and soakable
Epsom salts
Eye ointment – nonsteroidal
Hydrogen peroxide
Iodine
Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
Pepto
Petroleum jelly
Sterile saline solution – for washing out eyes and wounds
Must-Haves (Even in non-emergencies)
Baling twine – it used to be baling wire, but twine works in a pinch
Blankets
Clippers – manual and electric
Dental floss – plain and waxed
Duct tape – no explanation needed
Flashlight (with extra batteries)
Emergency contact list
Gloves – disposables (latex and non-latex) and regular, heavy gloves
Pocket knife
Restraints – hobbles, cross-ties, extra halters, collars, ropes, leads, etc.
Sewing needles – suture needles preferred, but upholstery needles will suffice
Sewing threads (cotton and polyester)
Toenail clippers – hoof nippers
Towels
Veterinarian’s phone numbers
Wire cutters
Soft Supplies
Adhesive tape – various strengths and widths
Adhesive bandages
Clean rags and towels
Cotton bandages
Cotton batting
Elastic bandaging (commonly known as vet-wrap)
Gauze pads and rolls
Rolled bandages or “polo” wraps
Sponges – various types and materials

Tools

Disposable razors
First Aid Manual for animals
Magnifying glass
Measuring spoons and cups
Needles for syringes
Oral thermometer
Rectal thermometer – you should always have a string firmly attached to the end
Scalpels
Scissors – safety for cutting bandages, regular sharps for cutting everything else
Stethoscope
Syringes – both oral and injectables
Tweezers

This list is by no means all-inclusive but it should help you to get an idea of the types of supplies and tools you might keep on hand. Creating and maintaining an emergency kit doesn’t have to be expensive or labor intensive. Many of the items can be found in both brand name and generic versions at your local discount stores for under a dollar.

One thing to note is that while most of the things listed above are safe to use on almost every type of animal, there are exceptions (such as no aspirin for cats). Be sure that any medicine or treatment you are using is labeled safe and approved for that particular species. You don’t want to inadvertently make the situation worse. Also keep in mind that some popular products are not recommended for egg, meat, or milk-producing animals.

Feel free to add anything to your own kit that you feel could be of use during an emergency. It is not uncommon to have a separate small box or kit for each species while keeping a “master kit” of the basics. Everyone’s situation is different, so please let us know what you would include in your own barn emergency kits. We can all learn from each other and keep our animals safer.

By Julie Dees

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Here’s Your Next (And Much Deserved) Vacation: 7 Days in Spain

While Spain may lend itself to images of inert, bronzed bodies on the beach and the quiet lull of an afternoon siesta, don’t let the country’s laidback character fool you. For adventurous travellers looking for an entirely different angle to sunny Spain, there is plenty to do, from kayaking around the bays and snorkelling around the beaches of Menorca, climbing Montjuic in Barcelona, doing a day’s hike in the Sierra de Guadarrama near Madrid, to biking (and drinking in) the La Rioja wine country.

Day 1

On your first day in Spain, you’ll land in Madrid. The city is filled with art and culture, so put your walking shoes on and take a wander around in the morning. In the afternoon, take the train to the little town of Cercedilla, where many of the spectacular hikes that criss-cross the mountains of the Sierra de Guadarrama start. Trails are colour coded and maps are easy to follow. Locals recommend Los Miradores, a 9km hike that takes hikers through serene pine forests, and up deserted mountain paths.

Day 2

Madrid’s Parque de Buen Retiro, or the Park of Pleasant Retreat, is the city’s green lung. Here you’ll find locals jogging, families picnicking and lovers rowing across the lake in the middle of this lush park. Landscaped lawns, marble statues and tidy paths make exploring the park an absolute pleasure on a sunny day.

Day 3

From Madrid, move onto Logrono, the capital of La Rioja – Spanish wine country. The city offers free bicycles to tourists who sign in and apply for a card from the Logrono Tourist Office. The flat roads, light traffic and world class wineries all within nearby cycling distance make for a fantastic experience on two wheels.

Day 4

A short 3 hour train ride away from Logrono is Barcelona, the heart of Spanish Catalan country. Montjuic, a major Barcelona landmark, is a hill that towers over the city from the southwest. To climb Montjuic, you can either take the easy option of using the series escalators that run up the hill from Palau Nacional, or you can attempt the hour or so hike up instead. The views are worth it.

Day 5

Barcelona offers an easy introduction wind surfing for amateurs via the gentle waters of the Base Nautica, located between Mar Bella and Bogatell beaches. If you already know how to windsurf, you can hire equipment by the hour; otherwise try kayaking or taking a sailing class instead. The calm waters of the Mediterranean are a calm respite away from the hustle of the city.

Day 6

Ferries and short flights run daily from Barcelona to the Balearic island of Menorca, where sun, surf and sand await holiday makers. Kayak, snorkel or dive the turquoise waters off the beaches here. Colourful sea life and coral reefs abound underwater.

Day 7

For a different view of the island, cycle the Cami de Cavalls, a bridle track that rings the entire island of Menorca along the coast. The track passes along some stunning views and provides access to pristine, isolated beaches that are otherwise unaccessible by other means. From Menorca, catch a short flight back to your starting point, Madrid, before departing for home.


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