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First Aid Kit for Dogs – Be Prepared!

Dogs have historically been called Mans best friend. (In 1789, King Frederick of Prussia once said that a dog is a “man’s best friend” and this phrase has lasted throughout the generations.)

Dogs are the most popular pet

Over 48.3 million households own dogs with cat owners coming in second in popularity at 31.9 million.

Are you the proud owner of the most popular pet in the U.S.? Do you have a first aid kit for your dog?

Preventative care is the best care. Keep up to date with exams, vaccinations, and have extra prescribed medications. In addition, a first aid kit and common otc medications can prevent trips to the vet (or if the vet isn’t available) and prevent further injury and even death.

Ask your vet to recommend products specific to your dog as they know your dog’s health condition and are the best ones for this task. However, there are a few items that you can have stocked in a first aid kit for minor injuries and illnesses in the event veterinary care isn’t readily available.

First aid supplies

Find or purchase a rugged box where you can store items. A tackle box, small Rubbermaid tote or a lunchbox with dividers is ideal for setting up a first aid kit. Make sure it is clearly labeled for your pet as a first aid kit on the outside of the container. Inside this container stock:

  • Contact card with your veterinarian phone number and other contact information. In addition to contact information, have your dog’s name, age, health conditions, meds and allergies listed. The Pet Poison Hotline 855-764-7661 should also be on the contact card.

 Laminate this card and place it where this card will be easily seen when the kit is opened.

This card is for anyone taking care of your dog while you are away, or on vacation or traveling and you aren’t available. Add all the contact information to your cellphone also.

  • Nitrile exam gloves to protect both you and the dog
  • Tweezers- for tick, splinter, thorn, or bee stinger removal
  • Bandage scissors. Be sure to stock only bandage scissors since they have the blunt end, which can help avoid injury when rendering care.
  • Nonstick telfa pads. These pads won’t stick to wounds when applied as the first layer in a dressing.
  • Neosporin or other ointment- to help reduce bacteria count and provide a layer of protection to the wound.
  • Hibiclense or generic equivalent wound cleanser to clean wounds before applying dressing.
  • 10 cc and 50 cc syringes to irrigate wounds and clean ears if needed. Have multiples of these.
  • Coban dressing- 4-inch roll is the most useful size. If your dog is smaller you may want to pick up 2 and 3 inch rolls also. Be sure when applying this to an appendage to not wrap too tight (which could create a tourniquet effect)
  • Gauze squares, separated into 5-10 packs, place in individual baggies for easy access.
  • Roll of gauze to hold dressing in place until you can apply Coban.
  • Rectal thermometer made for dogs and pets, along with lubricant. (Know how to use the thermometer)
  • Styptic powder to control bleeding (handy to have if you are trimming nails and cut too close and it causes bleeding) Corn starch works (but not as well) if styptic powder not available.
  • Small flashlight with extra batteries to examine wounds, etc.
  • Extra towels- paper and cloth
  • Bottled water and a small foldable bowl for drinking in case of dehydration.

Over the counter medications

With supply chain disruptions and a multitude of other factors creating instability in our world, having just a few of these meds on hand could be lifesaving.

A fantastic you tube series by a former practicing veterinarian has playlists for emergency care, meds and more:  Veterinary Secrets

Contact your veterinarian for instruction and guidance on the following medications. Make sure written instructions are with each medication.

  • Benadryl (generic name is Diphenhydramine)– for allergic reactions, itching, hives
  • Pepcid – generic name is Famotidine– upset stomach, vomiting, gastric reflux
  • Activated charcoal– in case of ingestion of poisonous substances-DO NOT USE UNTIL YOU TALK TO VETERNARIAN OR HAVE WRITTEN INSTRUCTIONS ON WHEN AND HOW TO USE
  • Eye wash– to remove pollen, irritation or objects in eye
  • Ear wash for irritated ears – ask your vet what they recommend
  • Pain reliever -with instructions from veterinarian on use. One common otc pain reliever is uncoated aspirin, but this needs to be used with caution.

In addition to the above supplies and medicines- do you know the symptoms of and how to treat:

Heat stroke?


Perform CPR?


Water toxicity? (when swimming can ingest water to avoid it going to lungs)

How to tell if in pain?

Foods toxic to dogs?

Be ready for your best friend’s emergency needs. Know what to do if your dog has an emergency or ingests something they shouldn’t. They are truly our best friends!

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

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April 4th is National Vitamin C Day!

Each year this powerhouse vitamin is celebrated for all the ways it benefits our health

What is vitamin C?

Vitamin C, also known as L-ascorbic acid, is a water-soluble vitamin, meaning that it dissolves in water and does not get stored in the body. Since we are unable to produce these vitamins, they must be consumed daily.

Sources- Food and supplements

(Source from NIH fact sheet on vitamin C)

Vitamin C is found in many food sources. Probably the most well known is the citrus family. While citrus fruit contain vitamin C, there are many other sources.

Food Milligrams (mg) per serving Percent (%) DV*
Red pepper, sweet, raw, ½ cup 95 106
Orange juice, ¾ cup 93 103
Orange, 1 medium 70 78
Grapefruit juice, ¾ cup 70 78
Kiwifruit, 1 medium 64 71
Green pepper, sweet, raw, ½ cup 60 67
Broccoli, cooked, ½ cup 51 57
Strawberries, fresh, sliced, ½ cup 49 54
Brussels sprouts, cooked, ½ cup 48 53
Grapefruit, ½ medium 39 43
Broccoli, raw, ½ cup 39 43
Tomato juice, ¾ cup 33 37
Cantaloupe, ½ cup 29 32
Cabbage, cooked, ½ cup 28 31
Cauliflower, raw, ½ cup 26 29
Potato, baked, 1 medium 17 19
Tomato, raw, 1 medium 17 19
Spinach, cooked, ½ cup 9 10


Other sources include rose hips (made into tea), sauerkraut, and supplements such as sodium ascorbate; calcium ascorbate; other mineral ascorbates; ascorbic acid with bioflavonoids.

A study revealed Liposomal vitamin C  is more bioavailable for the body. Liposomes are tiny, nano-sized bubbles normally made out of sunflower lecithin that mimic the body’s own cell membranes. It is absorbed directly into the cells compared to the bloodstream with supplemental vitamin C.

Health benefits

Increases iron absorption in foods

A recent study concluded that taking supplemental vitamin C with an iron supplement did not increase iron absorption.

Taking supplemental vitamin C along with iron rich non heme (not animal source) foods, such as  dried beans, nuts, grain products increased iron absorption.

However, when food sources of both vitamin C and iron are consumed iron absorption increased.

Vitamin C also:

  • Helps activate B vitamins
  • Is an antioxidant, neutralizing free radicals
  • Modulates natural killer (NK) cells
  • and stimulates immune system,
  • Provides protection against oxidative stress
  • Reduce heavy metal toxicity
  • Production of collagen
  • Aids in wound healing
  • Natural antihistamine
  • Lessens duration of colds
  • Improve insulin resistance and stabilize glucose levels


Supplementation should be considered only if you are not able to consume enough vitamin C rich foods. Since there are so many versions of vitamin C on the market the following table, obtained from the NIH should be used as a guide only. Most supplements contain ascorbic acid which as been found to be the purest form.

Age     Male   Female Pregnancy     Lactation

0–6 months   40 mg*         40 mg*                  

7–12 months  50 mg*         50 mg*                  

1–3 years       15 mg 15 mg          

4–8 years       25 mg 25 mg          

9–13 years     45 mg 45 mg          

14–18 years   75 mg 65 mg 80 mg 115 mg

19+ years       90 mg 75 mg 85 mg 120 mg

Smokers        Individuals who smoke require 35 mg/day more vitamin C than nonsmokers.

If taken as a supplement, vitamin C should be taken in the morning or during the day, not at night, especially in people with GERD as this can make symptoms worse.

Vitamin C deficiency

Symptoms of vitamin C deficiency include:

Fatigue, inflammation and/or bleeding of the gums, brittle nails and hair, bruising easily, iron deficient anemia, and joint pain.

Vitamin C deficiency is unusual in developed countries; however some diseases can deplete vitamin C stores and lead to deficiency. Individuals with irritable bowel disease, celiac or other forms of intestinal inflammation are at risk for vitamin C deficiency.

Side effects of vitamin C supplementation

It is almost impossible to get too much vitamin C from diet alone. There are several side effects from taking vitamin C in supplement form. In most cases, excess vitamin C is excreted in urine within 24 hours. Some side effects are:

  • Nausea, vomiting and diarrhea
  • Heartburn
  • Stomach cramps or bloating
  • Headache
  • Skin flushing
  • Insomnia
  • Fatigue

Who should not supplement with vitamin C?

Consult with your primary care provider about vitamin C supplementation if:

  • Kidney disease or a history of kidney stones
  • Hereditary iron overload disorder (hematochromatosis)
  • Smoker (may need more than stated dose)

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

Recent Posts

Keeping you informed and safe.

Join Our Newsletter

Our mission is to help you be more medically prepared. Join our newsletter and follow us on social media for health and safety tips each week!

The “Last of Us” Mirrors Reality

In an eerie turn of events the widely popular HBO series “The Last of Us” could be based on an actual case of a fungal infection of Chondrostereum purpureum that occurred in India. In the series a fungus, Ophiocordyceps unilateralis infects and transforms humans into terrifying zombies, known as the “infected”.

The yet to be released June 2023 report of Medical Mycology states that a 61 year old man, a mycologist who had been working with plant fungi and decaying material, had been experiencing recurrent hoarseness of voice, cough, fatigue and lack of appetite for the past 3 months. There was no date given as to when this event occurred.

A CT scan revealed a right paratracheal (on the side of the windpipe) abscess. The abscess was aspirated and sent for evaluation.

After a series of tests were performed it was identified as a fungus, however the researchers couldn’t identify what type and sent the specimen off to the “WHO collaborating Centre for Reference & Research on Fungi of Medical importance” in India. It was identified as Chondrostereum purpureum by DNA sequencing. (D+28).  He was put on a course of antibiotics for two months. After 2 years of follow up the patient showed no evidence of reoccurrence. It is believed he was infected by working closely with and repeatedly inhaling spores from the plants he was working with for an extended time.

Until this case, there had been no evidence humans could be infected by this fungus. Fungal infections have historically affected immunocompromised individuals- until now. The man was not immunocompromised- had no history of diabetes, any chronic disease, immunosuppressive drug intake, or trauma. This raises serious concerns and questions about who is at risk.

What is Chondrostereum purpureum?

Chondrostereum purpureum is a fungal pathogen that causes silver leaf infection in trees and shrubs. It mostly attacks members of the rose family but also attacks apples, pears, plums, maples and many other deciduous plants. The fungus infects the wood through wounds in the plant and causes a silvering of the leaves followed by death of the branch.

Chondrostereum purpureum used as a mycoherbicide in Canada- And the United States

Deemed “safe” for humans and animals

(What could possibly go wrong?)

January 4, 2002 ,Myco-Tech™ Paste and Chondrostereum purpureum(HQ1), manufactured by Myco-Forestis Corporation was approved by the Ottawa,Ontario Pest Management Regulatory agency. Applied as a paste, this fungus inhibits the sprouting and regrowth on cut stumps of deciduous tree species susceptible to the fungus and kills them. March 30, 2005, the EPA registered and approved Myco-Tech™ Paste. In 2007 the Myco-Forestis corporation dissolved and in 2008 registration lapsed. At the time, the paste had a very short shelf life of only 3 months.

In 2004 after much research into extending the shelf life, Chontrol Paste, developed by MycoLogic Inc. was approved for registration. The city of Toronto uses this paste for invasive buckthorn control.

In the United States Chontrol Paste has been used in southeast Oregon to control tanoak. This product is available for use throughout the United States.

Pathogenic fungi are an emerging threat

Chondrostereum purpureum is not the only fungi that has the infected humans. Candida aurus has been taking center stage ever since it was discovered that the cases has more than tripled since 2019. Candida aurus is mostly found in hospitals among immunocompromised individuals. It is spread by direct contact with infected individuals, on surfaces such as hospital beds and items and can live for several months. Some hospital disinfectants are ineffective in killing the fungus. It has a mortality rate of between 30 and 60%. It is often multi drug resistant and is fast becoming an emerging global threat, according to the Center for Disease Control (CDC).

Fungi are hard to detect in the conventional laboratory setting and often have to be sent to specialty labs for identification. In addition, they have the ability to mutate, just like bacteria, placing them as another antibiotic resistant global health threat.

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

Recent Posts

Keeping you informed and safe.

Don’t Get Complacent- Avoid Prepping Burnout

5 Tips to get back on track to self-sufficiency.

Its that time of year again. Tax time, Spring break, plans for summer vacation, getting your garden started,playing and working outdoors are all forefront in our minds.

Oh yes, and pending war, famine, next pandemic, social unrest, solar flares, record breaking weather patterns (tornados in the South, epic rainfall and snow in the West), food and gas prices spiraling out of control, bank failures, supply chain disruptions. In fact, probably the most disturbing news so far came from the World Economic Forums’ Global Cybersecurity Outlook 2023 report where 86% Business and 93% of cyber leaders believe global geopolitical instability is moderately or very likely to lead to a catastrophic cyber event in the next two years. A mass cyber event would have far-reaching and untold hardship in ways we can’t even comprehend.

Let us not forget our medical system

 Our medical system is now at tipping point leading to total collapse.  Hospitals closing, staff shortage, medical device shortage,( Cardiac diagnostic, and monitoring products, Specimen collection – testing supplies and equipment, Radiological devices, General ICU/ hospital products) the inability to perform procedures due to shortages of medications and instruments.

Overwhelmed? Now is NOT the time to shut down

As the war drums continually beat, as high food, energy and gas prices steadily climb to new highs, and as we face the reality that our medical system is in crisis, this isn’t the time to be complacent.

Breaks and vacations are important but don’t live there

Take a break from the noise of all the crises but don’t let this become your “new normal”. In fact, short vacations, hobbies, time with family and friends are vital to overall health and wellbeing. Schedule time away from screens and technology. Information overload causes us to feel we are powerless. This leads to complacency and the inability to think clearly. The survival of our families is dependent on our ability to navigate this unchartered territory.

We are entering a time never seen before in the history of the world.

Our global economy and trade have positioned us in a very precarious position; one where we may feel powerless. This couldn’t be further from the truth. We have amazing, untapped talents and abilities we never knew we had until we decide to get back in the game.

5 tips to get back on the track to preparedness and self-sufficiency

  1. Attitude is everything

Everything we believe we can or can’t do starts with attitude. Attitude can move mountains. By focusing on solutions instead of allowing the media and others to pull you down, step away from the negativity and work out ways to overcome obstacles. If the obstacle is too big, shelve it and revisit at a later date.

Start your day off on the right foot, and continue.

  • The first hour upon awakening sets the tone for the rest of your day. Stay off your phone that first hour. Instead, meditate, pray, reflect on what you are grateful for and if able get some natural first morning sunlight.
  1. Prioritize your day, week, month and year. Set realistic goals.

Set aside uninterrupted time to prioritize goals. Start by writing down the goals, then prioritizing them. Which are the most pressing and important? Number them, starting with #1 as the most important and pressing. Do you have a goal of paying off debt? Weight loss? Finishing a project or starting a hobby? Do you want to eat better within an already strained budget?

The SMART acronym

A very popular tool for goal setting.

Specific- Narrow down what goal you wish to achieve, take time evaluating the goal.

Measurable- Is the goal measurable? For instance, if you want to lose weight, how much?

Achievable- Is the goal realistic and achievable. Some of this is based on your attitude and ability to achieve the goal. Do you feel you can achieve the goal and do you have the resources and tools needed?

Relevant- Is your goal relevant in your life? For instance, would losing 10 pounds add value to your quality of life?

Time-bound- Make sure your goal has a completion date. This can be modified as needed as you work towards achieving your goal.

  1. Be flexible but stay the course

Life happens, roll with the punches, but always go back and reflect on your reasons for why you are preparing. If you need to step away for a time, go ahead, but don’t make this a permanent way of life. It you have experienced major life changes it is time to refocus and reevaluate your goals and get back on track as soon as you are able.

  1. If it was easy, everyone would do it

The discipline, focus, drive and determination needed to prepare for our uncertain future isn’t an easy road but it will be rewarding and bring peace of mind. You can’t possibly do everything. Find others that are like minded that can help fill in the gaps for you and reciprocate. Check with local emergency responder groups, gardening and livestock communities along with family friends and neighbors for support. We aren’t an island. We need each other now more than ever before.

  1. Be an example. Be a leader

People are watching us even if we don’t realize it. We will inspire others more through our actions than any other way. As more people come together to solve local and regional problems facing all of us, we will all not just survive but thrive while navigating the waters of the unknown,

By the way, have you ordered your Jase Case for each member of your family yet?

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

Recent Posts

Keeping you informed and safe.

Join Our Newsletter

Our mission is to help you be more medically prepared. Join our newsletter and follow us on social media for health and safety tips each week!

Over 600 Rural Hospitals at Risk of Closing

Throughout the nation many rural hospitals are on the brink of closure, citing physician shortages and lack of adequate funding to keep their doors open.  A report from the Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform (CHQPR) revealed that more than 600 rural hospitals – nearly 30% of all rural hospitals in the country – are at risk of closing in the near future.

These hospitals are not just emergency rooms, many are the anchor for primary care, rehabilitative therapies, labs and x ray departments and maternity care. If the hospital closes many , if not all, other rural healthcare services in the area will also disappear.

Lack of adequate revenue

Rural hospitals and clinics are forced to operate many times at a loss- not because they are inefficient but because they have the same overhead as their urban counterparts.

 ER staffing 24/7- Urban hospitals have more patients coming through their doors than their rural counterparts. Even though both require adequate round the clock staffing, the volume of patients in urban areas offsets the overhead.

There are over 1,000 small rural hospitals, representing more than 25% of all the short-term general hospitals in the country, but they receive only 2% of total national hospital spending.

Insurance reimbursement disparity

A recent report by Center for Healthcare Quality and Payment Reform (www.CHQPR.org):

“A common myth about rural hospitals is that most of their patients are on Medicare and Medicaid. In fact, about half of the services at the average rural hospital are delivered to patients with private insurance (including both employer-sponsored insurance and Medicare Advantage plans). Low margins or losses on patients with private insurance, combined with losses on Medicaid and uninsured patients, can force small rural hospitals to close.”

Physician shortage

According to NHRA (National Rural Health Association)

“Ease of access to a physician is greater in urban areas. The patient-to- primary care physician ratio in rural areas is only 39.8 physicians per 100,000 people, compared to 53.3 physicians per 100,000 in urban areas. This uneven distribution of physicians has an impact on the health of the population.”

Some reasons cited for the rural physician shortage are long hours, lower reimbursement of insurance compared to urban areas, aging population of physicians that are nearing retirement, managing patients with higher proportion of chronic illnesses (diabetes, coronary heart disease) and lifestyle of rural living.

Rural hospitals and clinics serve farmers, ranchers, and others that provide food and services for the entire nation. Many of the nation’s natural resources- coal mines, oil and natural gas production are in these areas. Rural hospitals and clinics also provide care for visiting tourists to national parks and outdoor recreation if an emergency arises. If this population can’t continue to live and work in rural areas because of lack of medical services, the entire nation will suffer.


  • Match reimbursement with cost of doing medicine

Current insurance reimbursements are below cost of delivering care. Saving Rural Hospitals states that increasing spending to meet cost of services (total would be 4 billion annually) could help offset the financial losses. This sounds like a lot of money, however this amounts to only 1/10 of 1% of total national healthcare spending, which is more than $1.3 trillion spent on all urban and rural hospitals in the country.

  • Telemedicine

 Rural communities could benefit from telemedicine, which solves the problem of rural patients having to drive long distances (sometimes over 70 miles) to see a doctor or consult with a specialist. Telemedicine can treat chronic conditions and provide a preventative approach to healthcare not usually found in rural areas.

  • Establish more rural residency programs and mentoring opportunities. As more rural physicians enter retirement age they are ideally positioned to mentor and support new physicians in rural medicine.
  • Utilize midlevel providers to offset the long hours the physician faces along with providing care more economically. Midlevel providers- nurse practitioners and physician assistants- are a more economical way to support the physician and can provide relief from long hours faced by rural physicians.

Until such a time that above solutions can be implemented, anyone living in rural areas should consider the very real possibility that their local hospital could be shut down in the near future. Are you prepared for such an event?

- Brooke Lounsbury, RN

Medical Content Writer

Lifesaving Medications

Everyone should be empowered to care for themselves and their loved ones during the unexpected.

Recent Posts

Keeping you informed and safe.

Join Our Newsletter

Our mission is to help you be more medically prepared. Join our newsletter and follow us on social media for health and safety tips each week!