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
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
Eye ointment – nonsteroidal
Isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
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
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
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
Veterinarian’s phone numbers
Adhesive tape – various strengths and widths
Clean rags and towels
Elastic bandaging (commonly known as vet-wrap)
Gauze pads and rolls
Rolled bandages or “polo” wraps
Sponges – various types and materials
First Aid Manual for animals
Measuring spoons and cups
Needles for syringes
Rectal thermometer – you should always have a string firmly attached to the end
Scissors – safety for cutting bandages, regular sharps for cutting everything else
Syringes – both oral and injectables
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