A Peek in Our Packs: A First Aid Kit for Me and My Dog
As March 1 gets closer, my dog, Flynn, and I have been cracking down on the smaller details of our Appalachian Trail thru-hike. After several weeks of brainstorming, and seeking the advice of some of the veterinarians I work with, we have finalized our first aid kit. Well… mostly.
Because there was was so much crossover between dog and human first aid kits, I decided to combine both of our kits into one, with the plan that I would carry the bit of extra weight that the dog specific items would add.
Unfortunately, Flynn has a history of environmental allergies that have resulted in skin infections. Our first aid kit contains some items directly related to treatment and prevention of these skin issues. So those lucky folks with normal dogs may not need these extra items that we included.
As we get hiking, I figure that we may make some changes to our kit, both adding and removing items. I’ll be sure to update our list of items as we figure out what is needed, and what is just taking up space.
For Human Use Only
Ibuprofen: An NSAID anti-inflammatory and pain medication.
Loperamide hydrochloride: An antidiarrheal used for decreasing the frequency of diarrhea.
For Humans and Dogs
Benedryl: An antihistamine that safe to use for both people and dogs to control itching and allergies.
Famotidine: An antacid and antihistamine that is helpful for heartburn, and upset GI symptoms.
For Dogs Only
Carprofen: An NSAID anti-inflammatory and pain medication safe for use in dogs
Simplicef: A once-a-day broad spectrum antibiotic that is known for treating skin infection and wounds.
Metronidazole: An antibiotic treatment for bacteria and some parasites causing vomiting and diarrhea. In higher doses, this is also the treatment of choice for giardia.
Doxycycline: An antibiotic used for treating tick-borne diseases.
Epinephrine: A vasoconstrictor to help with allergic reactions and emergency situations.
Simparica: A chewable tablet for flea and tick prevention.
Interceptor Plus: A chewable tablet used for heartworm disease prevention, as well as a routine de-wormer for intestinal parasites.
Please note that some of these medications are also used for people, but they were prescribed and labeled to be used specifically for canines by my veterinarian, and that is why they are in the section for dog use only.
Fish oil: Omega 3s,
Vitamin B-12 chews
Emergen-C (Vitamin C)
Welactin: Omega 3s helpful for Flynn’s skin
Skin, Wound Care
Creams and Ointments
Bandaging and Wound Care
Band-Aids (fabric, various shapes and sizes)
Sterile alcohol wipes
Mylar thermal blanket
Water treatment tablets
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Dayze: Nice selection of meds. When I thru-hike with my dog I prepare for a situation where she might be badly injured and need sedation. I carried a few tablets of Thorazine, as recommended by her vet. They came in handy one night when she went after a porcupine and needed 13 quills removed from her snout. After about 10 hours the effects wore off and she was her hiking- self.
Ron Springel MD