As many of my reader know, I have taken many trips with my pets over the years. Whether by car, boat or plane, my pets are experienced travellers. My lab went hiking in Vermont, wandered the Billy Goat Trail and Chessie the Coon cat earned his sea legs with over 5000 ocean miles below his tufted toes. I was really lucky that my guys remained well over the years. Sure, I had one dogs who got car sick and I occasionally fretted that Chessie wouldn’t eat, but no one ever became seriously ill or suffered major trauma. Yet, in this summer season of vacation journeys, I wonder what I would do if one of my animals became sick away from home, or what I could do to be proactive in the face of illness or mishap.
I always advise my travelling clients to look for an AAHA hospital if they go to a town and don’t know a soul. AAHA stands for the American Animal Hospital Association, and is an accrediting body which registers veterinary hospitals based on merit. AAHA hospitals must abide by certain standards and protocols, have particular types of equipment-and therefore know how to use it! AAHA hospitals are periodically inspected to ensure they maintain these standards.
Don’t misunderstand: There are plenty of very good veterinary clinics that are not AAHA certified, but if I found myself in a strange city, knowing no one, then that’s a good place to find a vet.
Of course, many people do keep emergency kits for themselves and their pets. Here are a few things in mine.
Bandage material, including roll cotton and an ace bandage, triple antibiotic ointment, Benadryl(for bee stings), Pepcid(for vomiting), Imodium(for diarrhea) a thermometer, hydrogen peroxide, tweezers ( for removing ticks) ice pack, Betadine(for cleaning wounds), a snare leash-can be used as a tourniquet or leash. Always call a veterinarian for correct dosages and never give your pet your own medicine until you check if it’s appropriate for an animal.
Of course, it’s a great idea to carry an up to date copy of your pet’s vaccine history and any significant medical history if he or she has chronic disease or requires continuous care.