It is not only hard to predict when a disaster will strike, but it also holds true that how it strikes is not likely to be certain. Accidents and injuries happen regardless of how prepared we are and how many precautions we take. As ideal as it would be to have a safety guarantee, but no such thing exists.
Photo: Our Beagle World
Because you cannot prevent harm, it is necessary to be able to treat it when it arises. In a wilderness setting such as where rabbit hunting is done, many hazards present themselves, both of seen and unseen varieties. These may go unnoticed by you and your dogs until it is too late and you have a wounded dog in need of treatment. At that point, it will be vital that you are able to provide care for your dog, as his or her survival may very well depend on it.
Photo: Saved by Dogs
Having a First Aid Kit with you when you hunt can aid in the prompt treatment of any injuries that might arise. There are a wide variety of commercial kits for sale and it is also possible to create your own if you prefer. Be sure to include dog-appropriate care items and cover your bases in regards to the type of field injuries your dogs might experience. Some good starter items to include in your kit are:
- Antiseptic Wipes
- Trauma Bandages pressure dressings
- Tourniquets to stop bleeding
- Sterile Gauze
- Self-Adhering Bandage Wrap such as VetWrap to protect wounds or add support to injuries
- Splints for injured limbs
- Skin Stapler for closing large wounds
- Celox Hemostatic Granules to stop bleeding
- Eye Wash
- Cold and Heat Packs
- Towels or blankets to keep injured animals protected, comfortable, and warm
- Gloves for yourself while providing treatment
- A waterproof bag or plastic container to house your supplies
It is also helpful to know a thing or two about canine first aid, or even first aid in general. There are many guides you can pick up for learning purposes, some of which you may even wish to carry with you while hunting and might even come with a commercial kit. Precious seconds spent looking for information on how to treat an injury are not wasted when the alternative is guessing wrong. These books will also walk you through the steps of things such as canine CPR which is a learned skill that no kit can perform for you.
In order to keep your dogs in tiptop shape, being able to care for their health in the field is vital. Since it is always possible that another animal is lurking nearby that can harm dogs, such as a large predator, wild hog, porcupine, or venomous snake, you need to be ready. As nice as it would be, access to a veterinarian in the field is rarely if ever an option, so in times of trouble you need to be able to step up and give care to your dogs to pull them through until veterinary care is available.