Thursday, January 01, 2015

What Should Be in a Pet Rat's First Aid Kit


I'm betting that most everyone has some sort of first aid kit for themselves and their children but do you have one for your pets? Do you know what should be in a first aid kit for your specific pet? Here are a basic list of things that you should have on hand for a rat first aid kit.

Neosporin- To be used on small cuts, scrapes and infections.

Baby Nail Clippers- Used for clipping rats claws, always be careful not to clip to much or it will bleed. Only cut the very tip, just the sharp white point.

Cotton Balls and Q-Tips- both used to apply antibiotic ointment, peroxide or water to wash off cuts and scrapes and small wounds.

Peroxide- To clean wounds.

Pedialyte- Can be used to help a dehydrated rat when they don't want to drink water, they might drink this.

Boost or Ensure- Good for older rats who don't eat as much food and might start to lose weight. This has vitamins and calories that will keep a rat from losing weight and getting sicker.

Infant or Baby Motrin- Can be given to a rat for minor pain. You should ask your vet for dosage instructions and whether or not your rat needs prescription pain medicine instead.

Stage 1 Baby Food- When a rat gets sick they will sometimes eat this when they won't eat anything else.

Scissors- For cutting gauze, compression wrapping, tape, ect.

A Small Plastic Tupperware Box- This needs to be large enough for your rat but not too large. Used as a temporary medical home while an injured rat is being treated by you or to watch for signs of shock or until injuries stop bleeding. There should be a cotton baby blanket inside the box so they have something soft to lay on and snuggle into to keep warm if they go into shock from an injury. The blanket should be white so you can see any blood, urine or feces.

Plastic syringe *without the needle*- For giving medicine, water and other fluids.

Insulin Syringe with Needle- Used in emergency cases where sterile saline needs to be injected under the skin if a rat is dehydrated and won't drink.

Self Adhesive Cohesive Bandage- Used to keep small pieces of gauze in place on small areas like feet, legs, paws, and sometimes around the body of the rat.

Gauze and Non Stick Melolin Dressing- Gauze will sometimes work while holding pressure on a wound or for cleaning a cut or scrape but if you are going to be wrapping a wound you should use a non sticking sterile dressing like Melolin so it doesn't hurt your rat when you have to change the bandage.

For major injuries and wounds your rat needs to be taken right away to a veterinarian to be looked at. But for small scrapes and cuts you can clean them and apply antibiotic ointment to them. If the cut or wound is larger or deeper but manageable you can apply a Melolin dressing and antibiotic ointment to it and wrap a cohesive bandage around it and wait a day to see if if will start to heal on its own. Very deep wounds, breaks, and emergencies should all warrant a trip to the vets office, where you can ask about how much Infant Motrin to give and also about Metacam which is a prescription pain medicine given to rats.