Sunday, July 6, 2008

The Tour

In honor of the 95th Tour De France, I put on my yellow bracelet and wanted to tell everyone to live strong! The tour runs from July 5th to July 27th and will cover a distance of 3,500 kilometres! Good luck to all of those biking in this year's tour. I think the competitors should hook up little wagons on the back of their bikes and bring their dogs along but that's just me...they need a little extra weight to carry up those huge mountain climbs..hehehe, but most importantly they need the loyalty and support that only we canines can provide. ;)

Now, if you humans out there aren't quite up to Tour standards and aren't competing this year, you can still get out and do something active BUT be sure to bring your dog along whatever you do! ;) Did you know that July is national Park and Recreation month...well, it is so go on a hike with your pooch, go for a bike ride, visit a local park and play a game of fetch, take a swim in a lazy river, (this one is not for me as I do not swim but for the dogs out there who do....have fun!) or go to the beach and run through the sand! There are a million things you can do but whatever you do just get outdoors and enjoy some time with your furry friends!

P.S. Don't forget to bring along extra water to keep you and your dog hydrated, a first aid kit, toys for your dog, and of course, LOTS and LOTS of tasty treats! Below is a list of basic items for a first aid kit that was sent to my Mom by Diana, who happens to own ApacheRidge Ranch where I was born! :)

1. Contact lens solution (Saline Solution) with no preservatives in it and thimerisol free, for rinsing out the eyes and to clean wounds. Pure, clean, sterilized water can be substituted, but it is not as comfortable for the animal.

2. Hydrogen Peroxide - 10 ml every 15 minutes to induce vomiting in animals that have ingested a non-caustic poison.

3. A small tube of antibiotic ointment for wounds. (not for eyes) (ie. Polysporin, Neosporin, for non puncture type wounds).

4. Rectal Thermometer - the digital kind works best. These electronic ones will beep when they are finished registering a temperature. They are also slightly smaller than the glass kind. They can and should be covered with a thin disposable probe cover to prevent the spread of germs and infections each time you use it. Normal canine temperature is 100.5 to 102.5F.

5. A small tube of a water based lubricating jelly, like "KY Jelly" to lubricate the thermometer for comfort.

6. Alcohol swabs to sterilize your instruments or small areas of skin. You can dip and soak your tweezers and scissors in the liquid isopropyl alcohol to disinfect them when you are at home.

7. Hibitane (Chlorhexidine gluconate) is a mild antibacterial soap for cleaning and disinfecting skin and wounds. It is an antiseptic preparation effective against a wide range of bacteria, yeasts, some fungi and viruses. Avoid contact with the eyes, ears, mouth, and mucus membranes.

8. Sterile cotton or cotton balls and cotton swabs like Q-tips can come in very handy.

9. Adhesive tape to secure bandages. Have both the non-stick tape and the water proof tape.

10. Blunt tipped scissors are necessary for cutting the hair away from wounds.

11. Forceps or tweezers and bandage scissors.

12. Splints. They come in a wide variety of sizes. Some people make home made ones.

13. Self-adhesive bandages.

14. Sterile Gauze Pads (the larger 4" size is more versatile since it can easily be folded or cut into smaller sizes if necessary). We have found that hospital pharmacies like Kaiser are reasonable on the pricing of many first aid kit items.

15. A few rolls of gauze or the cling gauze bandage for wrapping. 1" and 2" seem to be the most common sizes used.

16. A single sharp sided razor blade and or a razor can also be used to shave away hair and abrade the skin following a tick bite.

17. Some stretchy cotton stockinette to protect and keep a bandage on the leg or foot. It is sold by the yard and you cut it to the length you need. It is sometimes used on top of a splint also.

18. A few gel packs that can be used for hot and cold compresses. You can microwave them for heat therapy.

19. ASPCA - The Animal Poison Control Center - 888-426-4435. They charge you $60.00 on your credit card per incident. They have a team of Veterinarians on staff 24/7 to answer questions and help in case of an emergency.

20. I'm adding this last one...maybe bring along some Benadryl too in case of any bites from spiders and things that may begin to swell. HOWEVER, be sure to check with your vet first to get their professional judgement. Typically, only the plain Benadryl formula should be used and NOT the liquid kind. It is also important to check with your vet in case your dog is taking other meds that may not mix well with the Benadryl or in case your dog has a health issue that could interfere. The vet will also instruct you on the proper dosage for your dog. Again, always check with your vet first as it is not always safe to give your dogs "human meds" because some can be fatal or cause serious damage. The Benadryl will help with the swelling and pain. I actually got bit by something last night and Dad gave me some Benadryl in a piece of chicken and by bedtime the swelling had gone down a little and today it looks great! Below is a picture of my big, fat lip after the bite!

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