Vetting your animals at home : LUSENET : Freedom! self reliance : One Thread

I'm wondering... I do almost all our vetting at home. (Shots, worming, hoof care etc). I know how to do suturing too but don't know where to purchase injectable anesthetics. I tried the Jeffers catalog, which had everything but that. Theres bound to be a supplier somewhere. I've had some really high dollar vet bills for just stitching up wounds that could have been done at home IMHO. It's usually my favorite old dog(a boxer) who manages to find something somewhere to get cut on. She is my gentle old companion and doesn't like the vet trips. Hope someone can answer this one, Thanks!!

-- Kathy (, September 05, 2001


I believe the anesthetics are strictly controlled. There is some stuff called EMLA, that is available in Canada, and some stuff called Sustain here that might be helpful for such things. My vet never anesthetizes the area. He just blasts right in. I need to learn how to suture. I don't know how this happened, but I get all queasy at blood now. Not good. Good luck!

-- Doreen (, September 05, 2001.

Great question, and if you don't mind, I'll add some more. I'm on my way out the door to the vet with "Lucky", the kitty I found. He obviously has a respiratory infection, and I'm going to pay $40 for a 5 minute visit, and a bottle of pills. I want to be able to fix simple things like this, and Patty and others have mentioned buying stuff at the Farm and Tractor store. Will I find a bottle that says "To be used for respiratory infections"?? Does Jeffers catalog make it that simple?? I'm a smart girl :) but where do I start? Is there a book you recommend? I don't even do the simple stuff, like worming. Kathy, sure hope you don't mind me chiming in!

-- Cathy in NY (, September 05, 2001.

I highly recommend the Merck Veterninary Manual for anyone who plans to do much of their own animal care. As far as suturing, if you can do hand sewing, you can suture. Not much difference, just suture the skin. Anything much deeper probably should be seen by a vet. Use peroxide to clean out the wound first. I agree with Doreen, you would have a hard time finding any anesthesia in this country. I doubt a vet would give ansthesia for a laceration anyway. I have seen things advertised to calm animals which is given a lot before they are "shown". Something like that would help. There is a limit what an untrained person can do but there is an awful lot that you can do. We have cattle, chickens and a dog and probably only use the vet on the average of once every two or three years. I give all their shots, worming, and have treated infections with antibiotics and I might add, cured them! Just know your limits.

-- Barb (, September 05, 2001.

I also do all my own vet work. The only time I see the vet is for antibiotics that I can't get from Jeffers, and broken bones or x- rays. I have done all my own stitching, learned how on a banana. The peel is about as thick as an animal hind (depends on the animal, but goats and dogs are pretty close!). I got the suture material from Jeffers. As for the anesthetics, I have never used any, although the thought has occured to me that maybe there is an herb that would work? Anyone know of one? In His Grace, Sissy

-- Sissy Sylvester-Barth (, September 05, 2001.

I wonder if it would help to numb the area before suturing by rubbing an ice cube around the area? I have never tried it but it might be worth a try.

-- Barb (, September 05, 2001.

How about using Anbesol. It's used for pain relief inside the mouth and outside for cold sores and the like. I can tell you from personal experience that it definitely numbs the area.

-- Scottland Jerseys (, September 05, 2001.

I've heard that you can just superglue the skin closed, no suturing or anesthetic required.

-- Rebekah (, September 05, 2001.

I do most of my own vetting an most of my own stitching. For a topical anesthetic, my Aunt showed me to use...(jee, I can't remember the name)...a denture cream in a tube with benzocaine. Some of the legwax kits have a bottle of straight benzocaine also.

Some of the herbs that I've used are Black Nightshade orally and topically for pain and calming and Shepards Purse to stop the bleeding. I've used these on myself and critters and they do work.

The Merck Manual has been on my wish list for about 30 years. I think this is the year. I am 75 miles from a competent vet and 160 miles from one that can tell one end of a horse from another.

-- Laura (, September 05, 2001.

I love Jeffers, it is not only the cheapest place to purchase drugs and equipment, but the information under each antibiotic will tell you exactly what it is used for. It is simply getting on lists and getting excellent reference material to find out what the dosages are though. I love Goat Medicine for goats, I am not a fan of Merck.

All aspects of vetting simply take practice, suturing superfical wounds is a snap and you are right, can be done with superglue if the edges of the skin are clean and straight. Understanding which sutures to use for deep wounds (soluable) is the only trick in doing deeper wounds, well that and cleanliness, and an antibiotic. My next C section I get called to do I am going to try to save both patients, usually I am only called for field c-sections in which you cut out the kids, to save the Mom or sacrafice the Mom, to save the kids. I do feel confident that I can do both now.

Doreen, I have found that as I get older, it isn't blood that has started to bother me, at 44, it is controlling my gag reflex! I simply can not pull dead or decayed kids if there is any smell, and I have to wear a mask to slice abscesses. Even then I know I sort of close my eyes when the cheesy/waxy build up comes ooozing out :) There have been 2 times I have gotten out of my truck, looked at the problem and turned around and left, saying "Call the vet or shoot the animal now". Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh (, September 05, 2001.

I can see how bad things smell......I hold my breath a lot! Usually I get past whatever the crises is without any troubles, but when it's safe to gag, cry, fall apart, freak out, or what have you, I do. I am fine with critters that I don't love, but if I love them, I swoon. Does anyone else have that malady? One thing that stops bleeding quickly is honey, it also aids healing. Cobwebs are supposed to work at stopping bleeding as well, but I have never used them myself.

For suturing, can you baste? The way they tie off has always daunted me.

I remember reading a thread on Cside once where this lady came home to find a goat eviscerated, and she was alone, so she threw a bag of feed on her head, washed off the intestines etal, shoved them back in and stitched her up. MAN! She's my hero. I would have gone to the house for the gun.

Vicki, have you taken vet courses, or is this all just thru experience?

-- Doreen (, September 05, 2001.

GREAT ANSWERS!!!! I can't believe I didn't think about Anbesol since I had to go get some the other night for hubbys wisdom tooth. I wasn't thinking about trying to do a C-section, just your run of the mill suturing for foot or body lacerations. I would love to see a C-section done though-- you never know when you might not even be able to get ahold of the vet(around here anyway). I'd probably try it even without experience if I knew the animal was going to die anyway. (I think!??!!) In a pinch you can do sutures with dental floss and get good results if you don't have the real thing. Thanks for all the great answers-Kathy

-- Kathy (, September 06, 2001.

Doreen, mostly experience but I have watched my vet, she is great and will let me watch, showing me stuff along the way. She even had me come in an disbud a group of does in her office one time, since she knew I had done more than her and the gal wanted a clean head for showing. Problem was..............after disbudding a very large group, the gal called the vet peeved the next day to find out you aren't supposed to disbud pygmy's for showing!!! :) Course it was all my fault!! Like I have ever showed pygymies before~ Vicki

-- Vicki McGaugh (, September 06, 2001.

Moderation questions? read the FAQ