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When it comes to equine first aid, prevention is the name of the game.

If you’re a horse owner, you’re probably familiar with horse accidents. You might even have the veterinarian’s phone number memorized by now. More often than not, horses come in from the field, and they’ve punctured their leg on a protruding branch or scratched their face in a thorny bush. The best way to treat these injuries is to be prepared. In fact, having a first aid kit ready could be a matter of life and death. That’s why it’s a good idea to have a first-aid kit handy in more than one place, such as the barn, the trailer and on the trail.

recent article in Equus magazine recommends having the following items:

Disinfectant for cleansing. Always wiping from the center of the wound out towards the surrounding skin. Consider an all-natural product like Equine Solution, a first aid support formula made with electrolyzed oxidizing water, which is the same effective ingredient that competitors use, but at a fraction of the cost. Electrolyzed oxidizing water can be used to treat rain rot, dryland distemper (pigeon fever), cinch fungus, ringworm, strangles, umbilical post, and post-surgical sites.

Antiseptic swabs and scrubs to clean wounds when you don’t have access to a water supply.

Wound powder/ointment to prevent new infection. Ointments have some water resistance, but are less easily absorbed than creams. Powders avoid the need to touch a wound, but are only absorbed by broken skin.

Antibiotic aerosol for the treatment of wounds to prevent infection without damaging tissue. Often colored (eg: blue or violet) to help with targeting. Take care to spray gently from the recommended distance.

Fly repellent to keep pests away from healing wounds.

Wound dressings to cover wounds without sticking to them and to promote healing.

Bandages, at least 3 to 4 inches wide and stretchy. Vet Rap is excellent for this as it sticks to itself and not to the horse. If you choose to use ordinary crepe bandages, they can be washed and re-used.

Insulating tape or safety pins for fastening the bandages.

Gamgee/field wrap, which is cotton wool sandwiched between two layers of gauze that comes in rolls. You can cut it to shape for padding beneath bandages, or use it as a pressure pad to stop bleeding. Available from your vet, or from an equine supply store. Padded leg wraps may be used, as long as they are well-fitting and do not bunch under the bandage and cause pressure points.

Cotton wool for cleaning wounds if no swabs are available, mopping up and dabbing on powders. Keep in mind that it’s not suitable for applying dry directly to wounds or for use as padding underneath bandages as it will stick to the wound. Take care to keep clean.

Epsom salts for soaking abscessed feet.

Scissors with rounded ends. Should be kept sharp for maximum efficiency.

Tweezers/forceps for removing splinters, etc.

Thermometer – the modern digital thermometers are easiest to read. A helpful hint is to attach a string and clip it to the horses tail so you don’t lose the thermometer.

Petroleum jelly to help insert the thermometer and protect soft tissues from soreness and chafing. Remember, all the preparation in the world doesn’t mean a thing if you don’t have access to it. First aid kits are only good if you have them when you need them. Have several, make sure they’re fully stocked. Having a first aid kit easily accessible during an emergency can pay off the investment many times over. It might even save your horse’s life.

When it comes to pet first aid, preparation is the key

Most people are well aware of first-aid, and probably have a first-aid kit readily available at home, and in the workplace. But as a pet owner, it’s important to make sure you have at least basic first-aid supplies for your pets accessible to you in your household should an emergency occur. Luckily, many of the items in a standard human first-aid kit can do double-duty for pets!

First of all, it’s important to have all information about your pet available to provide to a medical professional in the case of an emergency. This includes your pet’s species, breed, age, sex and weight. You’ll also want to have contact information for your pet’s primary veterinarian, as well as a local emergency veterinary clinic. It’s important to have this information on-hand and accessible before an emergency occurs, so you’re not rushing around during a time of high-stress. These details can make all the difference when it comes to getting your pet the fastest, most effective first aid treatment.

The American Veterinary Medical Association recommends having the following items on hand in the case of an emergency:

  • Gauze for wrapping wounds or for muzzling an injured animal that might be distressed and prone to biting
  • Nonstick bandages or towels to control bleeding
  • Adhesive tape to secure the bandages
  • Milk of magnesia or activated carbon for absorbing poisons (Note: always contact your veterinarian or local poison control center before attempting to induce vomiting or otherwise treating your pet for poison)
  • Hydrogen peroxide – for inducing vomiting (see above note!)
  • Eye dropper to administer oral treatments or to flush out wounds
  • Always have a leash on-hand to safely transport your pet, especially if he can’t be safely crated
  • A stretcher – or a door, blanket or other sturdy surface – can be used to transport your pet if he is not capable of walking without causing further injury

For less serious injuries, Pet Solution is a great product to have available. It’s an all-natural, first-aid support formula made with electrolyzed oxidizing water, which helps pets’ wounds heal faster. It can be used to treat a variety of common problems, such as minor cuts and scrapes, larger abrasions, hotspots, insect bites, skin irritation and more.

A little preparation can go a long way when you’re faced with an emergency. Don’t get caught rushing around for supplies. Have everything organized and in one place so you can provide the best care for your pet when he needs you most.

Make the grass greener this year!

To a fastidious landscaper, there’s nothing more unsightly than a lush green lawn marred with yellow spots announcing that a beloved dog has recently done his or her “duty.” And, unfortunately, as spring moves toward summer and the season shifts, these spots will become more and more prevalent. If you ask the average pet owner what causes these unsightly lawn blemishes, the answers you receive might be a mixed bag. Some may even say that the yellow spots are related to the yellow color of the urine. But the answer is much simpler: There’s nitrogen in urine, and just like nitrogen-rich fertilizer, if it’s too concentrated, it will kill whatever it’s applied to.

Some pet owners cope by saturating the spots where their pet “goes” with water, to dilute the nitrogen/ammonia and save the lawn. Again, just like fertilizer, these compounds are good for the lawn in small doses. But this method is only a long-term solution for those who don’t mind following their pet around with a water hose or watering can every time it’s time to “go.”

Most of us probably seek a simpler solution. Rather than dealing with the ammonia in the urine after the pet releases it, why not deal with it while it’s inside his body? It is possible, it is all-natural, and it is incredibly easy.

The ammonia that causes the yellow spots on the lawn comes from under-metabolized proteins. G-Whiz soft chews provide the dog’s system with ten amino acids needed to properly metabolize these proteins–which means no more yellow spots on the lawn.

It really is that easy. Thanks to an all-natural plant extract, G-Whiz makes pets’ urine friendly to grass and plants. It’s also available as a liquid supplement to be added to pets’ water daily.

G-Whiz can help keep grass green–and dog owners happy–all season long. As a side benefit, the product also helps neutralize odors and bad breath.

Shedding season is upon us! Help your ferret keep things moving along.

Like many domestic creatures, ferrets shed. They have two coats: an undercoat of soft, very dense fur that insulates them, as well as a topcoat of longer, thicker guard hairs that repel dirt and keep the ferret essentially waterproof. If you blow on your ferret, you will notice that the dark guard hairs will part so that you can see those light furs underneath. Most ferrets are white or cream in the undercoat and have markings in their outer layer, which gives them their distinguishing features, such as being sable or having a mask.

Ferrets shed two times per year, in the spring and in the fall. Because they are very photosensitive, keep in mind that your particular ferret’s shedding behavior is affected by its exposure to light, so he might not shed at the same time as another ferret kept somewhere else.

During shedding, it’s a good idea to brush your ferret with a soft brush to help the process along. Bathing can also help, but too much bathing can dry the ferret’s skin and deplete natural oils, which can make shedding worse and actually increase odor when the oils return in full force.

The ferret’s body is well-equipped to deal with shedding and in an ideal world, the hair will move through the digestive system smoothly. However, it’s a good idea to use a supplement, such as our new Ferret Lax Soft Chews. They’re a tasty treat that your ferret will love, and will help keep things moving along!

Although ferrets are susceptible to hairballs just like a cat, they very rarely cough them up like a cat. That means the hairballs stay in the digestive system, and, just like a clogged drain, can cause a blockage. At that point, expensive surgery will likely be required to save the ferret’s life. So keep things moving along inside your ferret with Ferret Lax Supplement or new Ferret Lax Soft Chews, just to be on the safe side.

It’s National Ferret Day 2015!

Today, April 2nd, 2015, is National Ferret Day, which is officially defined as “A day to educate the public to respect this lively and intelligent companion animal — the domesticated ferret. This day is also a time to focus on such ferret issues as welfare, care, nutrition and responsible ownership. Annually April 2nd (in the United States).”

The first official National Ferret Day was last year, on April 2, 2014, although ferret enthusiasts have been celebrating the occasion for almost twenty years. But thanks to one hardworking ferret lover, Carol Roche of New York, it is now an official observance. She took it upon herself to learn how to make a day an actual, official day–in other words, to get it officially recognized by Chase’s Calendar of Events, which is basically the worldwide reference for special events, holidays and days of observance.

When Roche learned that she needed a sponsor for her application, she went to the American Ferret Association, who were more than happy to be a sponsor and put a link on their website. So after her hours of research and hard work, it all paid off when National Ferret Day became an official Day!

And, just like it’s spelled out in the official definition, National Ferret Day is about much more than celebrating how cute and fun ferrets are (though we can certainly do that all day, every day!) It’s also about focusing on ferret welfare, wellness, nutrition and responsible ownership. There are many misconceptions about ferrets, and it’s up to responsible owners like all of us to help spread the word so people can know what great pets they are.

The more people know, the less likely they are to be afraid or hesitant of having a ferret as a pet, and ferrets will begin to be properly listed as domestic pets, which they are, rather than exotic pets, which they are not.

Every year, ferrets get more and more popularity and recognition. Let’s help the wave continue all year long!

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