We all know how important it is to have a first aid kit in your home, especially if you have smaller children that are accident-prone. But what about your pets? Do you have a guinea pig first aid kit?
Guinea pigs are docile little critters that spend a lot of time running around, exploring and playing with each other. With all of this activity, accidents are bound to happen, leaving your guinea pig seriously hurt. They can also hurt each other in a squabble or become ill.
Having a well-stocked first-aid kit with all the essential supplies on hand can buy you extra time in an emergency: time to get your furry friend to the vet. It could save your guinea pig’s life.
What Should Be In A Guinea Pig First Aid Kit?
Now you know why it’s essential to have a first aid kit for your piggies; you’re probably wondering what you need to stock it up with. Of course, you can buy a ready-made kit and then simply add items as per our list below to make it more guinea pig specific.
Guinea Pig First Aid Kit Essentials
- Gauze and bandages
- Betadine – a must-have to clean and treat cuts, bites and scrapes
- Animal wipes
- Towel – to wrap your guinea pig in
- Cotton balls and cotton buds
- Disposable gloves
- Styptic powder – this can be applied to a guinea pig’s nails to stop bleeding
- Bacitracin ointment – a topical antibiotic that prevents open wounds from becoming infected
- Epsom salts – helps treat bumblefoot
- Sterile saline solution
- Coconut oil – this is great for cleaning your piggy’s grease glands
- Syringe – 1ml and 5ml is best
- First aid tape
- Ear drops – cleans your guinea pig’s ears and prevents mites
- Small scissors
- Vitamin C supplement
- Oxbow Critical Care – essential syringe emergency feeding formula for guinea pigs that aren’t eating
- Flashlight – helps see more minor injuries
- Magnifying glass
- Eye ointment
- Bene-Bac Plus Pet Gel – contains Acidophilus for digestion problems
- Small heating mat and ice pod
- Small indoor hutch – this is necessary when you need to keep a piggy on its own after surgery or if it needs to quarantine
- Small pet carrier – it’s crucial to have a small carrier for you to safely transport your guinea pig to the vet in an emergency
Organising Your Guinea Pig’s First Aid Kit
Once you have stocked up on all the necessary items, it’s time to organise your first aid kit. Here are a few handy tips on how best to arrange it when time is of the essence.
Write down your vet’s contact number
As silly as this may sound, we think it’s a really good idea to stick your vet’s contact number on the outside of the medicine kit or inside on the lid. Yes, you may have the number saved on your phone, but when disaster strikes, you might not have time to find the number.
Also, it’s not unusual for panic to set in, which means there’s a pretty good chance you won’t remember the contact number off the top of your head.
Keep essential items together
Items such as scissors, tape, cotton balls and bandages are a staple of any emergency medicine kit and can treat a myriad of injuries and mishaps. When arranging your kit, make sure these are all kept together in one compartment.
Make sure everyone knows where the first aid kit is
In an emergency, how quickly you act can mean the difference between life and death. When storing the kit, it’s vital that everyone in the house knows exactly where it is. If your guinea pigs stay indoors, we suggest placing it out of the way, near their cage.
If your guinea pigs are in an outdoor hutch, it’s a good idea to keep the emergency bag in a cupboard inside the house but as close to the enclosure as possible.
Speak to your vet
To make sure you’re providing your guinea pig with the best medical care at home, it’s best to always ask your vet to recommend the best medicines. And don’t forget to keep an eye on the use-by dates. Antibiotics, topical creams, eye drops and ointments expire within a specific time period and may become less effective.
Get the right container
Ready-made first aid kits with basic items are usually sold in easy to carry pouches. We suggest getting a larger container, like a toolbox or tackle box, that can hold everything you need.
Important – A first aid kit is essential in your home, but it should only be used to help your pet in an emergency. You must get your guinea pig to the vet as soon as possible to treat any injuries or illnesses.
Essential Travel Items
Whether you’re taking your guinea pig to the vet, you should pack a few essential items for the trip. We recommend having the following on hand:
- Travel carrier filled with hay and your piggy’s favourite toy or blanket
- Water bottle
- Vegetables or a small portion of fruit
- Your guinea pig’s medical records, including a weight chart
- Poo sample – as odd as it may sound, your guinea pig’s poop can tell the vet a lot about its health. If you have time, scoop up your piggy’s poo and take it with you.
If you notice your guinea pig isn’t as active as usual or isn’t eating and drinking, it’s essential to get it to the vet as quickly as possible. These are all signs that something is wrong. For more advice on your guinea pig’s health, read this article.
What To Do In An Emergency
Depending on the type of injury or illness, there are some things you can do to keep your guinea pig comfortable until you can get it to the vet.
In an emergency, remember to:
- Keep your piggy warm (if it’s chilly outside) or cool (if it’s a hot day). Use a towel or ice pod to warm your piggy up or cool it down gradually. Remember, however, that guinea pigs don’t do well with sudden temperature changes.
- Check that your guinea pig is drinking enough water. If not, add some vitamin C to water and use a syringe to up your cavy’s fluid intake.
- Keep an eye on your guinea pig’s appetite. Your pet’s digestive system is sensitive and can shut down quickly if it’s not functioning correctly. If your guinea pig isn’t eating, tempt it with some fresh vegetables or a tasty treat. If that doesn’t work, try hay or grass. If all else fails, you will need to syringe feed it Oxbow Critical Care.
- If your guinea pig is in pain, you can administer approximately 0.2ml of Calpol.
A first aid kit is critical to care for your guinea pig until you can get it to the vet. Make sure yours is stocked up with all the necessary items and that it is kept in an easily accessible spot. Never keep any medication that has expired and when something runs out, remember to replace it as soon as possible.
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