Inside My Livestock First Aid Kit

No matter what kind of livestock you have - even if your livestock is just a flock of chickens or a beloved cat or dog - it's good to be prepared for emergencies and have a well-stocked livestock first aid kit on hand. The question isn't "will my animal hurt itself?" but "when will my animal hurt itself?" Even if you must rush your animal to the vet, knowing how to render first aid on the way just makes sense.

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Here is a look inside my first aid kit, a plastic file box that I keep near the back door. I wanted a container with a handle for easy portability in a hurry; this has worked well. I do wish the lid were a bit more secure; I have to be sure to close it well so the top doesn't come off when I pick it up. That's my only complaint though.

The file box I use isn't available any more, but this one from Bankers Box (affiliate link) is very similar. Or, if you need more room in your first aid kit, you might want one of these larger file boxes (affiliate link). I have this one for (believe it or not) files, and I did stuff it so full of papers that eventually the handle broke, but I had 5 good years of service from it and I do recommend it. This brand is what I had and it has a really strong latch on it.

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My first aid kit is focused on goats, although I can triage any of our animals with what's inside - and I have done so!

Let's take a look at the contents, starting at the bottom. You can see that I used a long strip of cardboard, folded up to fit inside the container. I didn't measure the height of the cardboard and cut it; it was a long piece that I had on hand, already folded, and it just fit perfectly. If you want to cut cardboard to fit your kit, measure the height of your bottles and plan accordingly.

One side holds bottles of oral preparations, including a bottle of NutriDrench (affiliate link) for goats, Pepto-Bismal for goat tummy troubles, two bottles of Bloat Release (affiliate link) and a packet of Scour-Ease to treat diarrhea.

The other side is for topical things. There are several rolls of Vet Wrap (affiliate link), a spray bottle of iodine, wound spray (affiliate link), and a plastic bag containing other items including betadine wipes (affiliate link), bandages and even Band-Aids for people. (I often need one when I'm outside. Apparently I'm a bit of a klutz.)

I didn't plan it this way, but the height of the cardboard left a space on top of the bottles that's about three inches deep. I found a shallow box that fit on top of the cardboard and still allowed the lid to close, and I use that as a tray for small items. The cardboard divider keeps the tray up on top where it belongs, keeps it level, and keeps the bottles below from being smashed.

Wondering what equipment you need to keep goats?
Here are my 10 must-have basic items for goat owners.

The tray holds a stethoscope (for listening to rumen sounds), a digital thermometer, hand sanitizer, a measuring tape to estimate a goat's weight (affiliate link), an assortment of syringes and extra needles, and the little tube of antibiotic eye ointment that I sometimes need for kittens with eye infections.

On top of the tray I have a few zippered bags with smaller things: a roll of gauze, bandage tape and scissors, needles. The drench syringe also goes on top of the tray, to use when administering liquids to goats, such as vitamins, NutriDrench (affiliate link), and medications.

Along the sides of the container, between the cardboard divider and the plastic side, I store several pages of information. There's a weight chart to convert inches to pounds, a diagram of where to give shots, vital statistics for goats and for horses, and dosage amounts for wormers and medications. (I've put links to these in the list below.)

On the other side, also between the cardboard and the plastic, are large 4x4" individually-wrapped gauze pads.

This first aid kit is "grab and go" for diagnosis and immediate wound care. I keep most medications in a metal bread box on a shelf in the house, out of reach of our little people. The metal box keeps the bottles and gels away from light. Medications that must be kept cold are in a plastic basket in the refrigerator.

Of course, everyone will have different items in their first aid kits, and the contents of mine change occasionally too, but these are the core items I keep on hand all the time. Here they are in one place for your convenience:
NutriDrench (affiliate link)
Pepto Bismol
Bloat Release (affiliate link)
ProBios powder or ProBios gel (affiliate link)
Scour Ease
Vet Wrap (affiliate link)
wound spray (affiliate link)
betadine wipes (affiliate link)
stethoscope to listen for rumen noises, optional (affiliate link)
digital thermometer (affiliate link)
hand sanitizer
goat weight tape  (affiliate link)
antibiotic eye ointment
gauze, bandage tape and scissors, needles
4"x4" gauze pads (affiliate link)
drench syringe (affiliate link)

Printables (printed from other sites)
weight chart
diagram of where to give shots
dosage for common medications
vital statistics

I like the portability of this kit. I like being able to divide things up inside so I know where everything is. The size is deep enough to hold those bottles and keep them upright, and just the right size to store the 8.5x11" papers along the side. I love the tray on top. It's light enough that our granddaughter was able to run in the house and carry it out to me when we had a dog emergency. In other words, it works great.

How do you store your first aid items?

The following images are affiliate links. You can read my disclosure here.


Related posts:
5 Must-Have Consumable Items for Goat Keepers
10 Must-Have Basic Items for Goat Keepers

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My hope is to inspire you, and to encourage your homesteading plans and your dreams of a simple, self-reliant, God-dependent life. You can follow me at: 
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