There is one thing about Jack Russells that is always first on my mind, and I suppose yours too—their energy. I see it as their advantage, a thing that makes them special, but we must agree that it can lead them to some kind of trouble. Unfortunately, that trouble can end with injuries.
I always like to be prepared, it may help me to stay calmer when an emergency occurs (yes, yes, I’m sure I wouldn’t be calm, but calmer seems possible). Aside from knowing how to help your Jack Russell in a specific situation, a well-equipped first-aid kit can help you save your beloved Jack Russell terrier, reduce any pain s/he is in or just provide you with some sanitary material for smaller wounds. Also, it can help you save the day.
So, considering Kala’s activity level, lifesyle, habits and health condition, I decided to pack two, one to have at home and the other one to keep in the car or when traveling.
Here you can find a list of some basic stuff that should be included in your JRT first-aid kit, so add medications and other things according to your dog’s health condition and specific needs. You can always ask your vet to help you, especially with defining the dosage of medication (for example pain killers) or choosing the right equipment for your dog.
It is easy so you can do it yourself from scratch or you can start with a premade human or pet first-aid kit. Note that a human first-aid kit is not sufficient for dogs.
Basic equipment that should be found in all JRT first-aid kits includes:
• Waterproof container – to put everything inside to preserve things in their original state
• Phone number of your veterinarian – the emergency vet, animal control and animal poison control – so you can call them in emergency situation to get the right advice
• Animal first-aid book / CPR instructions – you can check what procedure would be appropriate for the accident that has happened. You can also find some useful mobile apps with dogs’ first-aid tips
• Scissors with blunt ends – you can use them to cut fur around the wound, to cut tape or gauze… Always use scissors with blunt ends to reduce the chance of cutting dog’s skin
• Tweezers – it is easier to remove whole thorns with a tweezers as thorns tend to break when they are removed with fingers
• Tick removal tool – it assures removing a tick with its head and does it in the shortest time
• Syringe with no needle – for washing wounds, dog’s eyes or ears
• Tongue depressor – to examine mouth
• Sterile gauzes – in few sizes to cover cleaned wounds and protect them from additional damage
• Bandages – to secure gauze in right place, for immobilisation of broken leg…
• Adhesive tape – to secure end of bandage
• Vet wrap – elastic bandage that sticks to itself but doesn’t stick to fur. It is very practical because it is comfortable and easy to remove.
• Gloves – use them to protect yourself and to protect your Jack Russell’s wound from additional contamination
• Thermometer and vaseline or water-based lubricant – a dog’s normal body temperature ranges from 99.5 – 102.5 F (37.5 – 39.2°C), so everything out of that range is hypothermia or fever
• Plastic bags – can be useful for protecting foot injuries or to pack used material
• Towels – for keeping your dog warm and for transport of immobilised dog
• Thermal blanket – can be used instead of a towel
• Muzzle – even well-trained and obedient Jack Russells can bite when injured, so protect yourself or other people who could help your dog
• Strips of cloth – to make muzzle or to immobilise broken leg
• Nylon leash
• Sterile saline wash – for flushing debris from dog’s eyes or to clean smaller wounds
• Antiseptic solution – for washing wounds, consult with your vet which product to use
• Antibiotic ointment – consult with your vet which product to use
• Other medications
• Your contact details and a name, age, breed, sex, identification of a dog
• Photo of your Jack Russell and a copy of a vaccination record
• Medical records – if your dog has some illness or had some recent treatment
We also packed a small pack of honey to raise Kala’s sugar level in a stressful situation (she had low sugar levels before when she was in pain so I know it could happen again).
Note that this is just advice and it can’t replace proper consultation with a vet. Also note that any bigger injury or a dog who has had some trauma should be checked by a vet as some symptoms can be overlooked.
Do you already have a first-aid kit prepared for your Jack Russell? Did you include something you thought could be useful that isn’t mentioned above? Or did you find yourself in some emergency situation in which you learned what to have in your kit? Please answer in the comments section, it can help all of us.
Also be sure to check out our tips on traveling with you Jack Russell.