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Isn't really a SAR question but I figured you guy/girls would know about first aid stuff.
I just started carrying a first aid kit in my Jeep. Are there any specific items you should replace regulary? Especially being in the Texas heat at 100+ degrees over the summers? Meds, batteries, etc...

Just installed this Molle storage unit.

 

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Just about anything medical comes with an expiration date ... including nasopharyngeal airways and some types of bandages. No, really. Doesn't mean you can't use them after the date but you may want to be aware that they may need changing out every so often. Especially if equipment is subjected consistently to high heat or very cold temperatures (like equipment left in a vehicle), items may become brittle or otherwise go bad

I'm an EMT. I keep my Blackhawk STOMP II bag in the Jeep pretty much all the time, so I try to go through it about every other month to ensure everything is in working condition. I check everything that needs batteries to make sure they don't need replacing - things like pen lights, etc. I check anything that can go brittle or expire - rubber NPA's, Aspirin, etc. - to see if it needs to be replaced. I also check my Bp cuff to make sure it is in working condition. (I don't check my stethoscope because I don't keep that in the Jeep. I grab it on my way out of the house ... it's an expensive one.)

As a rule, I don't keep anything that is liquid in my jump bag in winter ... it would freeze. :D Obviously, probably not an issue in Texas.

And, of course, any time you use something, refill it. And always keep more gloves on hand than you think you'll ever need. Even better if you can keep more than one size, in case anyone ever needs to help you with first aid. (I keep Small - my size - and Large - which most people wear - in my kit as well as hubby's car kit.)

Nice MOLLE setup, btw. I bought that a while ago because it came free with the seat covers and overhead storage, but never got around to installing the tailgate one.
 

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Yes, Texas heat is a killer. First, thermometer. You need to get a normal rectal temp of your dog and in this horrid Texas heat, check regularly while working. That temp will tell you if you have pushed that dog too far. Take Pedialite with you. I also keep a jar of "go doggy" in my deployment bag. www.k9power.com is where you can order it. This will keep the dog hydrated. This disolves in your dog's water.
Heat stroke and heat exhaustion is something all K9 handlers must be knowledgeable about. Its not simply seeing that your dog is panting and/or lethargic, but knowing the resting, as well as working temperature of Your dog and what to do in the case of heat stroke/exhaustion. Heat stroke can kill any dog if not treated immediately an aggressively.

"Once the heat stroke occurs, damage to the dog’s muscles, organs, and metabolic processes can occur. Heat stroke in dogs is a potentially life threatening condition that requires immediate medical treatment." PETWAVE

Normal temperature for dogs is 100 to 102.5 degrees Fahrenheit.
Mucus membranes (gum color) should be pink and moist, not red or dark pink (injected) or pale/white. Pressing your finger against the guns and timing how long it takes for the color to return is called capillary refill time.. Normal CRT is 1.5 to 2 seconds. Anything longer or shorter, take note.

Also knowing your dogs resting and working heart rate (HR) is important when working in hot temperatures. a fast, thready pulse or a slow, weak pulse are also signs something is not right.

Know your dogs resting temperature and working temperature. Not all dogs will run at the same temp, your dog may run higher or lower than anyone else, but if you don't know whats normal, you won't know when something is wrong.

If your dog has a rectal temperature higher than 1 degree over its normal working temp, the dog should be rested and cooled until a normal temp has been reached, the dog is properly hydrated, rested and ready for work.

If you think your dog is having a heat related issue, take a rectal temp. This takes moments and can help you avoid the condition worsening.

Cooling your dog: NEVER use ice water or even cold water (even to drink) to cool down your dog. Instead, use tepid or room temperature water. Depending on how hot your dog is, you can pour the water over the dog and use a fan (if available) focusing on the pads of the feet, the inguinal (inner thigh for male and female... testicle area for males) and neck (jugular area). Dogs do not have sweat glands remember and those areas have the largest blood vessels that when cooled will help the dogs internal temperature decrease. Take the temp every 5 minutes while cooling is going on and get your K9 to a vet ASAP.

Stop all cooling measure when the dogs rectal temp reaches 103.5, dry the dog off and continue to monitor the dogs temperature every 10 minutes to make sure that the dog does not become hypo-thermic (too cool). The dogs body will continue to cool on its own, you do not want the dogs temperature to drop below 100 degree F. If this happens, wrap the dog in blankets and get the dog to the vet ASAP.

Dogs can take on various symptoms of hyperthermia, from excessive panting, drooling and foaming at the mouth, to aggitation, barking, muscle tremors (ataxia) breathing difficulties, collapse, seizures, diarrhea, lethargy and ultimatley death. Heat stroke is not something to play around with, take measures to cool your dog down while en route to the vet.

Also, check the whites of your dog's eyes. red and bloodshot means stress
 

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If you keep vet wrap in your vehicle, check it often. It can melt in the heat and not stick properly and/or be very difficult to unwind.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks everyone.
Renee, Lots to think about. Why should you not put cold water on your dog? I did that once last summer. It's was 100+ and Lenny was getting too hot and not acting right so I soaked a towel in cold water and laid it on her. I'll know better if it happens again.

Abbyk9, how is the overhead storage working for you? I like it but don't you have to remove the center latch on your top? Does it cause any leaks?
 

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Abbyk9, how is the overhead storage working for you? I like it but don't you have to remove the center latch on your top? Does it cause any leaks?
My Jeep is a 2005 Unlimited, which is a two-door with a single-piece hard top. No leaking there. :D I will tell you, however, that this was a b**** to install with the hard top on. You're supposed to take it off before installing this ... which wasn't an option as I didn't have three people to help me.
 

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Among the assorted bandages etc, Neosporin, activated charcoal capsules and hydrogen pyroxide are "musts" in all my handlers kits.

DFrost
 

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I have my dogs trained to accept a muzzle and carry one but you can improvise with guaze or a lead.

I also keep my pack/kit inside the house and always carry it out.

Sterile saline eyewash and some cold packs as well as hot hands packs and standard human first aid stuff. I always have some SAM splints. Betadine for washing cuts/scrapes (surface stuff) and dawn dishwash soap for decon...My team carries IV solution (either saline or ringers not sure) and they taught us all how to hydrate under the skin if need be.

I always have Gas-X - I figure it could buy some time if it is right at hand and there is a bloat without torsion
 

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I always carry Celox with me to protection training (and offshore fishing, and in my car for the occasional car wreck)
 

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Thanks everyone.
Renee, Lots to think about. Why should you not put cold water on your dog? I did that once last summer. It's was 100+ and Lenny was getting too hot and not acting right so I soaked a towel in cold water and laid it on her. I'll know better if it happens again.
Because the cold water causes peripheral vasoconstriction. All the blood goes to the inner center of the dog, which is already overheated enough, leaving the skin without irrigation. It may make all the efforts to cool down the dog with the water in vain, because you can't reach the important organs but through blood.
 
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