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Stocking Your Dog's First Aid Kit, Skin Stapler Optional

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February 14, 2011

Stocking Your Dog's First Aid Kit, Skin Stapler Optional

By Chad Love

Earlier this season I was quail hunting one of my local public areas when I noticed two hunters in the parking area standing over a pointer (not the one in the picture, but similar) that had unwisely tried to take a bite out of a porcupine. The dog had a mouthful of quills, which wasn't surprising. What was surprising was one of them asking if I had a pair of pliers they could borrow. Seriously? You're in the middle of country in which pretty much everything you encounter stabs, stings, bites, cuts, punctures, scrapes or pokes, and you don't have even a basic first-aid kit for your dogs?


Feeling rather smug, I popped the lid on my dog box to grab the hemostats out of my first-aid kit...which I had left sitting in the garage. I learned two valuable lessons that day. One: trying to extract porcupine quills from a writhing pointer's mouth using only a pair of jumbo-sized vice-grips is as much fun as being kicked in the junk. Two: a first-aid kit is useless if you don't have it with you. Since then, making double sure I've got a first-aid kit in the truck has become a regular part of my pre-hunt routine.

My kit fairly basic for handling relatively minor injuries: hemostats, tweezers assorted bandages and wraps, a cold pack, EMT gel, antibiotic ointment and wipes, a bottle of saline solution, eyewash (plus a few more odds and ends).  But I recently attended a sporting dog first-aid seminar in which the use of the skin stapler was demonstrated and I'm seriously considering adding that item to the list. Although it sounds a bit much, barbed-wire fences and dogs don't mix, and if you dog hits a fence and cuts a flap of skin, a stapler can be a lifesaver.

My kit is home-made, but there are any number of fully-stocked kits you can buy from places such as Gun Dog Supply, or you can even get by with a basic kit such as this one sold at the Pheasants Forever online store.

So what essential items are in your first-aid kit?

Comments (10)

Top Rated
All Comments
from CToutdoorsman wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Mine has all the essentials you named above, and I do have a skin stapler included as well. Sure hope I never have to use it, but better safe than sorry. For the $20 or so dollars they cost, its worth the piece of mind. You may never need it, but the day you do you'll sure be glad you do.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

mine contains a regular first aid kit. ointments,scissors, etc... think i'll add that stapler. i added the basic kit with a dog first aid kit.
you did cut the quills before pulling them out, didn't you?

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from steve182 wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

As my kids would say..."OUCHEE OUCHEE!"... that photo is tough to look at

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from labrador12 wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

I remember pulling quills from Bituminous, my black lab of the 70s at Dragon Lake in the Yukon. She had quills all over her face, even under her tongue. I wish I had had even pliers. I'll alwayss remember that even though it was a long time ago and a bloody mess. She got into another porkey in NY on the home farm a few years later. She is the only dog I've owned that has even got into a porkey and she did it twice. She was a real mammal killer and not as well trained as my later labs. New wife, poorly trained dog, who knew??

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from Safety Editor wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

They have all kinds of great Dog First Aid kits - with Staplers and without - hunting dog, sporting dog, etc here: Dog First Aid & Emergency Kits

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wilksey88 wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

I would like to add, although it is obvious to some, that even using a stapler doesn't finish the job. Chances are that a dog, much closer to the ground than we, and after getting cut by a perfectly sanitary piece of barb wire/sheet metal, whatever it may be doesn't have a clean wound. Stapling should be used not so the dog can hunt the rest of the day with a smoldering wound, but as a stop gap on the way to the vet. If you're using any other way (i.e. take the dog to the vet at the end of the day) then it wasn't serious enough to use the stapler in the first place and it shouldn't have been used.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bbainbridge wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

I used to work in an equine surgical hospital and they used plain old super glue to close up small incisions all the time. The glue dissolves as the wound heals, but I wouldn't use it on any big, long gashes. My cousin's springer spaniel cut it's chest on some barbed wire and closed it up the flap of skin with super glue at night; he was good to go the next morning.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bjohnston wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Ouch! is there a sedative available otc for settling the dog down?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from .300winmag wrote 3 years 1 day ago

My grandma had a black lab that got in more mishaps then any dog you'll ever meet. One time, it fell through the ice on the pond, it got hit by cars 4 times, was it?, twice it met a porcupine and countless skunk encounters. Always pulled through, don't rightly know how, but it did.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kester Adagio wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

please reply for my comment: how do i gonna help my dog my dad was gromming him with a big sciccors and dad accidentally cut the skin on his head.how do i gonna fix it

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Safety Editor wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

They have all kinds of great Dog First Aid kits - with Staplers and without - hunting dog, sporting dog, etc here: Dog First Aid & Emergency Kits

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from wilksey88 wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

I would like to add, although it is obvious to some, that even using a stapler doesn't finish the job. Chances are that a dog, much closer to the ground than we, and after getting cut by a perfectly sanitary piece of barb wire/sheet metal, whatever it may be doesn't have a clean wound. Stapling should be used not so the dog can hunt the rest of the day with a smoldering wound, but as a stop gap on the way to the vet. If you're using any other way (i.e. take the dog to the vet at the end of the day) then it wasn't serious enough to use the stapler in the first place and it shouldn't have been used.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from CToutdoorsman wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Mine has all the essentials you named above, and I do have a skin stapler included as well. Sure hope I never have to use it, but better safe than sorry. For the $20 or so dollars they cost, its worth the piece of mind. You may never need it, but the day you do you'll sure be glad you do.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

mine contains a regular first aid kit. ointments,scissors, etc... think i'll add that stapler. i added the basic kit with a dog first aid kit.
you did cut the quills before pulling them out, didn't you?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from steve182 wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

As my kids would say..."OUCHEE OUCHEE!"... that photo is tough to look at

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from labrador12 wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

I remember pulling quills from Bituminous, my black lab of the 70s at Dragon Lake in the Yukon. She had quills all over her face, even under her tongue. I wish I had had even pliers. I'll alwayss remember that even though it was a long time ago and a bloody mess. She got into another porkey in NY on the home farm a few years later. She is the only dog I've owned that has even got into a porkey and she did it twice. She was a real mammal killer and not as well trained as my later labs. New wife, poorly trained dog, who knew??

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bbainbridge wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

I used to work in an equine surgical hospital and they used plain old super glue to close up small incisions all the time. The glue dissolves as the wound heals, but I wouldn't use it on any big, long gashes. My cousin's springer spaniel cut it's chest on some barbed wire and closed it up the flap of skin with super glue at night; he was good to go the next morning.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bjohnston wrote 3 years 9 weeks ago

Ouch! is there a sedative available otc for settling the dog down?

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from .300winmag wrote 3 years 1 day ago

My grandma had a black lab that got in more mishaps then any dog you'll ever meet. One time, it fell through the ice on the pond, it got hit by cars 4 times, was it?, twice it met a porcupine and countless skunk encounters. Always pulled through, don't rightly know how, but it did.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Kester Adagio wrote 1 year 40 weeks ago

please reply for my comment: how do i gonna help my dog my dad was gromming him with a big sciccors and dad accidentally cut the skin on his head.how do i gonna fix it

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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