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drugs. Most injuries that would require the use of them are probably better seen immediately by a veterinarian. But, in those cases where veterinary care is not readily accessible, you might consider discussing your plans with your veterinarian and getting their opinion. In certain circumstances it may be possible to get a short-term supply of these drugs and instructions on their use. Each case is unique so plan ahead and have this discussion prior to your planned departure.

Ophthalmic means pertaining to the eye, and the triple antibiotic ophthalmic ointment is for red, irritated eyes. If you don't see improvement in the eyes within 24 to 48 hours after starting treatment, it's time for veterinary care. With eye problems, if you have any doubt at all it is best to seek the help of a veterinarian.

"Any deep punctures greater than 1-2cm in depth, infected wounds, or bite wound punctures - which are at high risk for infection - will require veterinary services."

The toenail trimmer is for trimming broken nails, and the blood stop powder stops bleeding from nails that are cut or broken too short. Skunk Off is a commercial product that smells like cheap perfume but works pretty well to eliminate skunk scent, too. It's available from pet supply sources and probably your veterinarian. A skunk-descenting recipe that works well and is made from readily available ingredients will be included at the end of the article.

Common Injuries and Appropriate First-Aid

Ocular Foreign Body or foreign debris in the dog's eye is a common occurrence after a day of hunting. Signs include: increased drainage from the eye, holding the eye shut, and increased redness or swelling of the eye. Treatment would include wiping away any visible debris, gentle flushing with sterile saline solution, and antibiotic ointment. Seek veterinary attention if irritation persists longer than 12 to 24 hours.

Cut foot pads or cut webbing between the toes and broken nails are also very common injuries. Cut pads or webbing require thorough cleaning with antiseptic soap followed by topical antibiotics. Broken nails may need to be trimmed to prevent any remaining nail from tearing further. The blood stop powder in your medical kit should help stop bleeding. Feet may need bandaging for some wounds. Large, deep cuts or signs of progressing infection (swelling, redness, heat, pus-like discharge) are indications for veterinary care.

Lameness is also often encountered in hard working bird dogs. A slight limp may not require stopping the hunt, but any worsening of signs should lead to an early finish. A severe limp or non-weight bearing lameness is an indication for an immediate end to the hunt for the day. Following up with oral aspirin or other oral NSAID's might also be indicated. Any severe lameness longer than 24-48hours in duration, a lameness that worsens despite rest, or a non-weight bearing lameness in your dog will require a trip to a veterinarian for a complete orthopedic exam.

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