American Fancy Rat & Mouse Association

This article is from the Summer I 1998 AFRMA Rat & Mouse Tales news-magazine.

Pet Projects

First-Aid Kit

By Nichole Royer

Rat with hurt thum Injured rat

When disaster strikes, there’s no time to go looking for your first-aid supplies. Even when it’s not a life and death situation, emergencies and medical problems are much easier to handle if you have everything you need on hand.

In order to have all of your medical supplies on hand when you need them, it’s a good idea to put together a first-aid kit. The size and content of this kit will depend on the number of animals you own, and your own preferences. Remember—f you have any doubts about any medical treatment for your animals, contact your veterinarian first!

Everything you need to put together a first-aid kit for your critters can be found in one of five places:

D=Drug store
F=Feed store
P=Pet store
M=Mail order catalog

Box (D,F,P)

The first (and often over-looked) item you will need for your first-aid kit is a box to store everything in, preferably one with a lid that closes tightly. Good choices are plastic shoe or storage boxes. Another excellent choice is a large, plastic critter carrier.

3″ x 5″ card (D)

Another vital necessity. Write your veterinarian’s name and phone number on it, as well as that of your local 24-hour emergency animal clinic.

Towel (D)

A small cotton towel (a dish towel works great) can be a life saver. It’s great to use when handling injured and frightened animals, to staunch blood, and as a warm, absorbent, temporary nest.

Hydrogen Peroxide (D)

The old stand-by for flushing/cleaning minor wounds. Ideal to have on hand for treating your own scrapes and scratches obtained while playing with your critters.

Rubbing Alcohol (D)

Used for cleaning/sterilizing equipment and minor injuries.

Iodine (D,F,P)

Another good wound treatment.

Blue Kote (F,M)

Spray or liquid, used for treatment of minor wounds.

Bag Balm (F,P,M)

One of the best antibiotic ointments on the market for minor wounds. Good for people too!

Terramycin Ointment (F,P,V,M)

Comes in a small tube, good for treatment of minor eye irritation.

Ivermectin (V)

Diluted 1–10 in a solution of propylene glycol. Use as a topical treatment for internal/external parasites.

Tylan Powder (F,V,M)

One-eighth to one-quarter teaspoon per 8 oz. water. Used for treatment of minor or chronic respiratory problems.

Cat Flea Powder (D,P,F)

Good for treating external parasites on animals and bedding.

Cat Flea Shampoo (D,F,P)

Dilute ½ and ½ with water. Use for treating animals with external parasites.

Quik-Stop (F,P,M,V)

To stop minor bleeding, particularly from broken toe nails.

Baking Soda, Corn Starch, or White Flour (D)

To stop minor bleeding, can be stored in a spare film canister.

Q-Tips (D)

Swabbing wounds.

Cotton Balls (D)

Cleaning out wounds.

Scissors (D)

Small, sharp ones are best. I prefer tiny toenail scissors. Good for clipping fur away from wounds.

Scalpel with sterile blades (D,M)

Opening and draining abscesses.

Fingernail Clippers (D)

Ideal for trimming toenails, clipping off torn nails, and trimming over-grown teeth.

Eye Dropper (D)

For flushing wounds/abscesses. Also good for force feeding and giving oral medication.

Syringe, no needle (D)

For flushing wounds/abscesses. Also good for force feeding and giving oral medication.

Vick’s Vapo-Rub, Vanilla Extract, Etc. (D)

Strong smelling substances. Used when introducing unfamiliar animals to each other.

Nutri-cal (F,P,M)

Appetite stimulant/nutritional supplement. For animals who are thin, losing condition, or are in need of a nutritional boost.


Illegal to buy in some states. For use in dire emergencies only when animals must be put down and no veterinarian is available. Store in a safe, secure place away from pets and children. Do not store in the same room your animals are kept in.

Band-Aids (D)

For your own use to treat scrapes and scratches that go along with owning critters.

Naturally, not every item is necessary in every person’s first-aid kit. There are many other items that can be added depending on their need. I included the items found in my own first-aid kit that I have discovered are particularly useful to myself and my critters. If you have had good luck with other products, let us know. Remember—the first-aid kit is not just for rats and mice, most of the products are for use on other animals as well. *

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Updated April 1, 2014