As Deb Chebatoris sat in on the pet first aid classes through the summer, she heard Karen Sable regularly refer to “your pet first aid kit” when discussing preparing and administering first aid to pets.
And as she scheduled first aid classes for the coming months, Deb also found she needed a gift for a relative’s wedding shower in August 2011.
It all came together.
“The bride was entering the marriage with a dog named Rory,” she said, “so I thought a first aid kit for the dog would be a perfect shower gift.”
Pictured at left is the first aid kit she compiled for the gift: a nylon bag with a muzzle to fit Rory and a leash, various sizes of bandages and adhesive tape, hydrogen peroxide, activated charcoal, small towels, a digital thermometer and a few other items, plus basic instructions and a checklist for health information and records which Rory’s mom would provide.
And not a moment too soon. When the bride and groom came home from their honeymoon they put the first aid kit to use when Rory swallowed a bunch of medications, the most common form of pet poisoning, and they had the materials and instructions on hand to get her to vomit them back up before taking her to the vet.
But long before the wedding, assembling the gift first aid kit led to another idea.
First aid kits for class attendees
Deb decided she’d put together some basic first aid kits to get people attending the classes a start with assembling their own.
“I’m really big on shopping at the ‘dollar store’, and most of what you need can be easily found there,” Deb said. “I picked up a bunch of plastic zipper pouches and little bottles of hydrogen peroxide plus gauze and tape and whatever else I could find to assemble enough kits to cover the registrations for the next class.”
Depending on availability of supplies each kit contains something a little different, but it gives those attending class something to take away and build on using what they learned in the class.
Donations in class, and the purchase of pet oxygen masks for first responders
Deb began offering the first aid kits at the Mt. Lebanon class in early September. Classes are free, and attendees so appreciated the kits to take home that they offered donations to Chartiers Custom Pet Cremation.
She collected the donations and, through Karen Sable, purchased a set of O2 Fur LifeTM pet oxygen masks to then donate to the municipality of Mt. Lebanon because the class was held there.
The class held in Bethel Park in October had the highest attendance of any class to date with 30 students and brought enough donations to purchase two O2 Fur LifeTM kits which were donated to the Bethel Park Police and Tri-Community South EMS.
When an animal needs oxygen after a fire or accident, a mask for humans doesn’t give a tight enough fit to the muzzle to be effective. The 02 Fur LifeTM kit contains three sizes of oxygen masks with tubing that can attach to a standard oxygen tank ensuring that a cat or small dog, medium-sized dog and large dog with short or long snout will get the oxygen they need.
The kit also contains an instructional DVD for use of the masks and decals to place on emergency vehicles to advertise that the pet emergency oxygen masks are available in that vehicle.
Read The Pet First Aid Story series of posts.
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