A Simple First Aid Box

 Simple First Aid Box Items

1.       A good-sized box – put a label on the lid and write the following:

-          Name of your vet and name of his/her clinic

-          Clinic phone number

-          Your vet’s after-hours number of handphone number, and emergency number if any

-          Another emergency veterinary hospital/ centre contact number in case you cannot contact your regular vet

2.       Swabs and bandages

-          Two dozen gauze swabs (about 10cm x 10cm)

-          Cotton wool or cotton wool squares/ balls

-          Cotton-buds or Q-tips

-          A roll of bandage, 5cm wide

-          Masking tape

-          Scissors

3.       Rectal Thermometer (plastic/glass)

-          With KY lubricating jelly

-          Normal temperature varies from 37.5°C to 39.5°C

4.       Syringes

-          One or two 10/20ml disposable plastic syringes for flushing wounds

-          Can be used to encourage drinking – squirting slowly onto tongue, if heat-stressed

5.       Preparation to stop bleeding (Styptic)

-          Potassium permanganate crystals from your vet or a pharmacy

-          Cake of soap – depress into bleeding nail

-          Baking flour – press onto bleeding nail and hold firmly for 1 minute or longer

6.       Antibiotic & Antiseptic preparations

-          One tube of antibiotic cream from your vet

-          One bottle of antibiotic powder from your vet

-          One bottle of flystrike powder from your vet

-          Antiseptic concentrate, about 60ml

7.       Hydrogen Peroxide

-          240ml bottle of 3% hydrogen peroxide solution. This is useful in many situations as a wound cleanser and to induce vomiting when poison has been swallowed.
Consult your vet first before administering.

8.       Activated Charcoal Tablets

9.       Antihistamine tables from your vet

10.   A large foldable blanket/ cloth

-          Wrap around dog to keep it warm

-          Restricting its movement, especially in fracture cases

11.   Flushing liquids such as Sodium Chlorine/ Saline, Ringers solution (optional)

12.   Bucket & Sponge/ Cold Hosing if heat-stressed


Healthy animals look bright, alert, satisfied and reactive to their surroundings. They stretch and appear relaxed when resting. If you notice any of the following symptoms in your pet, do bring it to the attention of your vet:

  • Loss of appetite for more than 24 hours
  • Limping when walking
  • Blood in the urine
  • Lacklustre coat/skin
  • Offensive smell from coat/skin
  • Sticky fluid discharge, or bloody stool
  • Discharge from vulva
  • Vomiting continuously or several times within a few days
  • Sharp fluctuation in body weight
  • Swollen & turgid abdomen
  • Non-responsive to its surroundings
  • Increased frequency in hiding in dark corners
  • Coughing, sneezing and discharge from nostrils
  • Scratches or nips at its own legs, paws, skin or fur excessively
  • Shakes its head or scratches its ears often
  • Continuous tilting of the head
  • Drastic change in usual behaviour
  • Very smelly mouth, difficulty eating/chewing, pain on opening jaws
  • Excessive drooling of saliva
  • Redness in eye, very watery eyes/ tearing excessively
  • Dry listless, sticky discharge from eyes

Simple first aid

Every dog owner should be able to manage the following simple procedures without calling the vet:

  • All grooming procedures
  • Taking the dog's temperature
  • Force-feeding with a syringe
  • Giving the dog liquid medicine
  • Giving the dog a pill or capsule
  • Giving the dog eye-drops or applying eye ointment
  • Flushing out the ears, giving ear-drops or applying ear ointment
  • Carrying a dog with back injury the proper way - your vet will show you how

Other information


Regular Dental Scaling

Regular dental scaling is important to prevent excessive plaque and calculus build-up. It can cause severe gingivitis, periodontal disease and tooth decay (pain, excessive drooling, difficulty eating and very smelly breath). Bacteria in plaque or calculus enters the bloodstream via the inflamed gums and affects multiple organs within the body e.g. Endocarditis in the heart.


KY Jelly or Water Soluble Lubricant

KY jelly or water soluble lubricant is used to protect wounds from further contamination before transporting the dog to the vet. It keeps the exposed tissue from dehydrating and helps to keep the fur from falling onto the wound during shaving as well. Most importantly, it can be easily washed away with water.


Pill Popper

Pill popper available at most pet-shops can make pilling your animal easier and keep your fingers intact.


Microscopy Analysis

Microscopy analysis yields important information such as the types and concentration of bacteria/ yeast/ fungi.



A radiograph of a Labrador with several stones (uroliths) in the bladder. It was presented with a history of urinating with blood (haematuria). 




Dr Kenneth Tong 

BS (Purdue) BVSc (Melb) PAS MRCVS
MANZCVS (Avian Health)
Veterinarian at Animal & Avian Veterinary Clinic