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Here are eight things I always have around for those just-in-case moments. Do a search on “home remedies for dogs” and you’ll get a ton of neat stuff too, but this list is different in that it’s my list of HAVE-to-have’s in my medicine cabinet. There may be some glaringly missing items. For instance, when I lived more remotely a bloat kit was on my have-to-have lists, but now that I am 10 minutes away from a 24 hour emergency vet, well, I’ll leave scary stuff like bloat experts.
So the stuff that made this list are things that I personally always keep on hand. You should definitely add and modify for your own needs!
- Gas-X. Gas can be a nuisance or it can actually be very dangerous as it can be a precursor to bloat. Gas-X is safe for use in dogs, you can use up to the adult human dose. Do not use this regularly; if your Weim is gassy all the time, you need to examine the cause of the problem. In most cases, you are going to be looking at changing his food.
- Antihistamines like Benadryl can be a life saver so I like to keep a generic antihistamine on hand. Diphenhydramine is the generic of Benadryl; Chlorpheniramine is the generic of Chlor-Trimeton; Loratadine is the generic of Claritin. Antihistamines are most commonly used for allergic reactions, from insect or snake bites or from vaccines, or from food or irritants in the environment. And, let’s not forget those side effects which can sometimes be a benefit. Antihistamines cause drowsiness. The dosage is 1 mg per pound of body weight.
- Antibiotics should be prescribed by a vet, but I do keep some over the counter antibiotics handy for emergency situations, especially out in the field. Antibiotics should be given for its full course (7-12 days) even if your Weim starts looking better after a few days. Aqua-Flex or Fish-Flex is Cephalexin labeled for fish but often used off-label for dogs. Cephalexin is good for bite wounds and skin infections, so skin problems from allergies and itching is one of the ways it’s most often used for Weimaraners. The dosage is 15 mg per pound of body weight every 8-12 hours.
- Flagyl or Metronidazole is an antibiotic and anti-protozoa medication that is often prescribed by vets for diarrhea problems and IBD. It’s also the go-to medication for giardia. Flagyl is quite effective but side effects can include neurotoxicity especially after long term use. This is a prescription medication but can be purchased over the counter as Fish-Zole. Give an adult Weim 500 mg twice daily for a week.
- Blue Power Treatment is kind of an old school remedy for ear infections that is messy to use, but very effective and cheap to make. I also like it because it’s comprised of just three safe ingredients: alcohol, boric acid and gentian violet. Gentian Violet is an anti-fungal and is used for babies with thrush (fungal infection in the mouth) so is pretty safe! Boric acid and alcohol help keep things dry. You can also try boric acid and vinegar, or even a 50/50 water/vinegar solution. The acidic pH in the ear from vinegar should help with minor ear infections.
- Diatomaceous Earth is pretty cool. It looks like flour, and it kills bugs. Fleas, bed bugs, anything with an exoskeleton just dries up and dies upon application. The best part is that DE is known to be effective and safe. Simply sprinkle food grade DE on your rugs, your dog beds and anywhere else you may have fleas, including ON your dog, just don’t breathe the stuff in!
- You really don’t get to say you’re a true Weim owner until your Weim has experienced a skunking. You probably already have baking soda, peroxide and dish soap on hand. These three ingredients just need to be mixed together to bathe your dog.
- We have Weims and Weims get into stuff. Hydrogen peroxide should be on hand to make him vomit if necessary (Using a turkey baster, give your dog 1 teaspoon for every 10 pounds of body weight). Check with ASPCA’s Animal Poison Control to be sure; not everything that goes down should come back up!
- First aid kit (see below!)
First Aid and Emergency Care
Unfortunately, most of us experience emergencies with our pets, and while they may not always be life threatening, oftentimes, emergencies happen at home, at night, and otherwise test our ability to deal with stressful situations that may require quick action. Nothing replaces being prepared!
Please bookmark this online emergency preparedness reference from VIN. It covers emergency situations such as snake bites, impalement, near-drownings and other things you hope you never have to deal with: FIRST AID AND EMERGENCY CARE, by Roger W. Gfeller, DVM, DipACVECC, Michael W. Thomas, DVM, and Isaac Mayo.
First aid kits are available to purchase as a complete kit, or you can create your own.
Make Your Own First Aid Kit
- Pet First Aid Book
- Phone numbers: Your vet, closest emergency vet, Animal Poison Control
- Paperwork for your Weimaraner in plastic bag: rabies vaccination certificate, copies of other important medical records and a current photo
- Temporary ID tag
- Nylon leash – Most vet clinics will give you one
- Vet-prescribed: pain relief (NSAID), acepromazine, high potency antihistamine
- Supply of current medications
- Nail clippers
- Rectal thermometer
- Petroleum jelly
- Wound spray
- Bentadine or Chlorohexine solution
- Activated charcoal
- Cortisone spray
- Triple antibiotic ointment
- Rubbing alcohol
- Sterile saline solution
- Diphenhydramine (Benedryl)
- Gas-X tablets
- Styptic powder
- Bach’s Rescue Remedy
- Unflavored Pedialyte
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Karo syrup