The Essentials For An Emergency

It is always useful, for both humans and their animals, to keep a First Aid Kit handy in case of injury or illness and before you can get to a Vet.  Obviously, the below list is only a guide as the webmaster takes no responsibility for any harm caused using the list.  It should also be pointed out that it is always best to seek Vet advice in the case of ANY injury or illness and not to rely on your own diagnosis.  This Kit list is great in the interim, but please make sure and see a Vet as soon as possible.

Item Use
Ace bandage To wrap wounds (if the rat allows you)
Activated Charcoal Toxic poisoning
Adhesive foam  To cushion body before bandaging
Bach's Rescue Remedy For anxiety, stress, depression, and shock
Bag To store everything in, of course!
Cardboard sheet (NB.) Makeshift hood for fighting stitch chewers
Carob Constipation
Chocolate Wheezing attacks
Cold pack, instant To cool a temperature
Cotton Pads Cleaning wounds/eyes
Cotton Swabs Cleaning wounds, eyes, ears, nose and/or mouth
Eucalyptus Great when used in oil burner to relieve stuffiness and wheezing
Hand Towel To wrap and hold injured rat in
Hospital cage I always have one handy - going to put a first aid sticker on it!
Nail clippers For the obvious - although personally I couldn't do it!
Sock To place the rat in
Syringes (no needles!) Flushing out wounds, or to get vital liquids into a dehydrated rat.  Ask your Vet for some
Tee Tree Oil Disinfectant.  Dilute first.
Treats (small animal choccies, sweets, etc) To help calm a rat after injury.  Makes them feel better, honest!
Tweezers To remove foreign bodies from body or mouth
Water, sterilized To clean wounds

One other bit of kit you could probably keep, and more than likely have lying around the house, is a piece of flexible cardboard, perhaps the back of an old exercise pad.  I found this to be invaluable in our fight with Dominoe (one of our first rats) when she had a lump removed and wouldn't leave her stitches alone.  That was along with a sticky bandage, which we wrapped around her stitches!Cut a rather large piece of the cardboard in a long oval shape, big enough so that the rat won't be able to get their head round the sides to get at the stitches.  Near the bottom of the middle, cut a whole just big enough for your rat's head to fit through (I say near the bottom so that they are still able to walk and eat.  Too much card below them and they might not manage this).  Slide your rat's head through the whole just made and pull the front legs through with it.  Ta da!  You now have a make-shift hood, a bit like one you get for dogs and cats, only the rat won't be able to get out as easy!  We tried the ordinary hoods on Dommie, to no avail - she struggled enough and they fell off.  This way, because her feet are through it she can't back out nor use her feet to push it off!


Compiled with the help of Columbia Animal Hospital Library and personal knowledge.