A skin cut is one of the most common injuries for gun dogs in a training session or on a hunting trip. More than 35 years ago, ignorance was a big part of my excuse for this botched effort to deliver first aid to my gun dog. Today, there is no good reason for any gun dog owner to mess up an in-the-field medical problem while hunting, training or exercising any dog because there is plenty of clear, concise, easily accessible and authoritative information on the subject.
Books and Videos If you need to know more about treating canine medical problems and emergencies in the field or want to assemble or buy a dog first aid kit, just look in the table of contents and the index of A Field Guide to Dog First Aid by Dr. Each of these short publications and hour-long videos provides a very descriptive list of common medical problems and practical methods for treating many in-the-field-emergency situations that can afflict your gun dog. Add to this list insect bites, ingested poisons, eye injuries, as well as techniques for applying a tourniquet and putting a muzzle on an injured dog. Here’s a more detailed overview of the two books and two videos and some information on readily available kits, all designed to help gun dog owners better understand and treat most medical crises and many catastrophes in the field. The Orvis Field Guide to First-Aid For Sporting Dogs by Charles De Vinne, DVM, ($16.95 Willow Creek Press, (800) 850-9453) is a handy 130-page pocketsize book that covers a wide variety of in-the-field canine medical problems ranging from the minor to the disastrous. For quick reference, the book’s index has more than 125 entries that cover such diverse topics as allergic reactions, bloody tails, convulsion, dog bites, esophageal obstructions, frostbite, giardia, mouth injuries, poisonous plants, spider bites, ticks, torn toenails, and insect stings. Field Guide To Dog First Aid by Randy Acker, DVM, ($15.00, Wilderness Adventures Press (800) 925-3339) is another pocket book with direct instructions and emphasis on diagnosis and treatment of most common injuries and medical problems Dr. Types of injuries and procedures for dealing with them include bleeding lacerations (on all parts of a dog body), fractured and dislocated bones (legs, pelvis, and back), and breathing problems (coughing and choking). In a 50-minute video titled Advanced Canine First Aid: A Guide To Emergency Medical Treatment For Injured Hunting Dogs [(800) 699-BONE] Dr. Field First Aid For Your Gun Dog [(800) 767-HUNT] is another 50-minute video offering another perspective on dealing with canine medical emergencies in the field.
Less obvious but just as important components in a canine first-aid kit are medical instruments. Also included are one locking five-inch hemostatic forceps, one five-inch blunt tip stainless steel scissors, one stainless steel thumb forceps (tweezers), and one pair of latex exam gloves.


A short booklet entitled Animal First Aid Guide takes a dog owner through the process of making and applying a muzzle, checking heartbeat and respiration, and taking a dog’s temperature. The Canine First Aid Kit itself and the booklet are contained in a zippered Cordura bag measuring a compact six by four by two inches. A first aid kit, like this one from Pro Model (3030 kit) is essential when running bird dogs.
Also included in the kit are hydrogen peroxide, an instant cold pack, a penlight, a locking hemostat forceps, eye wash, a styptic pencil, surgical pre-scrub, and a pill gun. Keep the books (which will fit in a coat pocket) close to the kits (which are portable) so you will always be ready to handle most minor hunting dog crises and many major catastrophes encountered in the field. Many times our pets are getting injured and having sever injuries and we can not do at any thing if we don't have any first aid kit and medicine. Inspired by a Girl Scout Troop back in 2012, teamunruly shared this fantastic, tiny, first aid kit for hiking with dogs.
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Had I done a better job of treating his wound when I first noticed it, then brought the dog to the vet a lot sooner for stitches, the convalescent period would have been much shorter, according to my veterinarian.
And there are some standard kits, homemade or commercially available, designed to take care of canine medical emergencies ranging from minor crises to major catastrophes.


Knowing what to do when faced with these problems and having the equipment to do it made the difference between success and failure in keeping these hunting dogs hunting…or in one case, making a crucial decision to immediately take a dog to a veterinarian. Acker has seen in the past 20 years while treating hunting dogs in his Ketchum, Idaho veterinary clinic.
These should include scissors (blunt tip, stainless steel are best), hemostatic forceps (the surgical-quality stainless steel locking type should be the only kind), and tweezers (again in stainless steel as the only good choice).
Members of AKC Reunite can opt to sign up for a Pet Poison Helpline subscription for only $15. Take your cue from the Girl Scouts and always be prepared with a custom First Aid Kit for your furry friend. Keep in mind not everything that works on humans is suitable for Rover and never administer human drugs or prescriptions to your dog without first checking with your vet. In addition, he provides remedies for dogs after close encounters with skunks and animal traps. From minor cuts, sore feet, and runny eyes to snake bites, heat stroke, and broken bones, Acker personally and visually takes gun dog owners through the diagnosis and treatment of the most common injuries for hunting dogs.
With the right veterinarian-prescribed medications, a dog can be successfully treated in the field for this type of catastrophic medical problem. The digits for your vet, the closest animal emergency hospital, and the poison control hotline.
May be used to calm itchiness, swelling, and hives caused by bee stings or insect bites but, as with any medication, please consult a vet first as dosage will vary depending on your pup’s size. Also to be included are gauze-type bandages best for soaking up blood and to cushion lacerations.



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