First Aid Kit

As ferret owners, we need to be prepared for the worst. Having cash put away for emergency vet trips is crucial. Having a first aid kit on hand for emergencies is also very important and can potentially save your ferret if worst comes to worst. Many ferret owners may go to Mr. Google for questions “how can I build my first aid kit” or “what do I put in my first aid kit for my ferrets,” to make things easier on you, I have compiled a list of things you can get to fill your first aid kit. Having these things on hand will allow you to easily treat minor problems at home without having to run around frantically searching for some clean rags or antiseptic. In an emergency, having a first aid kit can help you to efficiently provide basic life-saving care until you get to your ferret to the vet clinic.

First aid kits are best stored in the house, car and/or office (anywhere the ferrets are in general.) Having one near the ferret cage especially is important, easy to reach and easy to grab in the hectic emergency moment. If you’re traveling with ferrets, having on on hand is also a good idea. You can potentially have multiple first aid kits, and in fact that is recommended and very responsible thing to do.

The first aid kit should be stored in a cool, dry place, out of the reach of children and/or animals. They will need to be periodically checked to ensure first aid items have not passed their expiry date. It is best to regularly rotate items in the first aid kit to ensure that they are always within their use by date and are fresh. (This is especially important if you have medicine and foods stored with the kit.)

Here’s the basics for emergency first aid kits.

  • A storage tub or box that can be locked and easily stored somewhere. This is for storing all first aid kit items. Having an item check list on the lid is ideal, note the date items were added and include expiry dates. That makes replacing items more efficient.
  • Medical files for ferrets, especially ferrets with special needs. [Should include their current diet, ages/birth dates, genders, vaccine info, medication info, conditions, sensitivities, any behaviours that are concerning or impact future handlers (eg. Is a fear biter, is a chewer, etc) all that]
  • Contact details for local vet clinic and nearest emergency exotic vet. Also contact details for owners and/or other contacts…
  • Food for emergency… FDR is perfect for raw feeders, Kibble of preferred brand for Kibble feeders. It is best to have at least 3-5 days supply available.
  • Medications, if any. (Optional)
  • Karo syrup (For bringing an Insulinoma ferret out of a crash.)
  • Syringes. [Recommended sizes: 5ml, 10ml.]
  • Blockage protocol leaflet, include instructions and supplies like canned pumpkin and vaseline. [This is essential for anyone who doesn’t know the drill. Example for family members or ferret sitters.]
  • Sterile saline solution. [For flushing out wounds.]
  • Sterile eye wash and eye lubricant.
  • Hypoallergenic tape.
  • Disposable scissors.
  • Tweezers.
  • Thermal shock blanket.
  • Electrolyte solution. (Eg. Unflavoured Pedialyte.)
  • Subcutaneous fluids [note: for knowledgeable and experienced ferret owners only. You will need to be shown how to do this and have permission from your vet. See the end of the article of videos of interest in relation to this one.]
  • Disposable pouch or those snack pack things for grabbing any samples for vets.
  • Disposable gloves.
  • Self-cohesive bandage (5cm, 7.5cm, 10cm)
  • Non-adherent dressing (5cm x 5cm, 7.5 x 10cm)
  • Wound dressing (#14,#15)
  • Combine dressing (10cm x 10cm, 10cm x 20cm)
  • Gauze swabs.
  • Q-tips.
  • Iodine antiseptic.

***please note: make sure you have a form in the kit that contains the items and expire dates so you can change or replace items accordingly. Any medications, if any, inside kits should also be replaced periodically. If you cannot locate all items in list, it’s okay just providing you have the most essential ones in there. You can also ask your vet and see if you can order items for your first aid kit from the clinic. ***

In regards to Sub-Q Fluids:
Subcutaneous is an injection route, given into the fat layer between the skin and muscle. Hence the name Subcutaneous in Subcutaneous Fluids. They are mainly given subcutaneously for animals since that is most easiest. Subcutaneous fluid is primarily made up of about 95% water and usually has 5% dextrose and 0.8% saline added. They are often used to prevent or treat dehydration in animals and even in humans. Usually when mild dehydration hits, animals may not be able to drink enough water to properly hydrate themselves, and so the SC/SQ or Sub-Q Fluids are often required.
Sub-Q Fluids are slow absorbed.There is a good article here, and here on SQ fluids.For education purposes, here are some videos about giving SQ

Fluids. Subcutaneous Fluids: Part 1 (The Set-Up):

Subcutaneous Fluids: Part 2 (How To):

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