Our farmhouse is equipped with a ramp in front of the French door for wheelchair access (previous owner) and we have made many improvements with mobility issues in mind but we are still working on building up our medical kits for both the animals and people and I think often homesteaders and other rural types forget these preps. A few days ago Holly severely sprained her ankle but because we knew what to do to treat it, we didnt have to make a trip to the emergency room and she is on the mend. We also had Rose the farm dog fixed and her stitches were due to be taken out but the bridge to the vet is out right now so we just took the stitches out ourselves and in the process saved a buck or two. You learn quickly that even with the excellent medical insurance we have its just not practical to run to the doctor for every medical issue and that you need to take care of a lot of things yourself.
We continue to build our medical supplies but still need a good scalpel (for lancing, making clean incisions etc.), we need a good stethescope, better needles for stitches, a couple more hemostats, a pulse-OX, and various additional gauzes, wraps and bandages. We are slowly getting various medications for the animals and ourselves and ultimately we want an AED on site as well. We have a lot already and though I have fairly extensive emergency medical training and hold several certifications, Holly and Judy do not and none of us have a lot of experience with veterinary medicine. So we study and build our knowledge. But the best medical advice we can follow is that we need to lead healthy lifestyles, practice preventative medicine, and THINK SAFETY.
Holly's badly sprained ankle...not because we were doing something that was dangerous...she tripped over something in the house and accidents happen so be prepared.
Having crutches on hand is a must in the country. To treat this sprain we practiced Rest, Ice, Compression, Elevation...RICE
Soak in Epsom salts....an old fashioned remedy but we use it often.
And forget ACE bandages (though we have those too). We even use VETRAP for the medical calls I go on and it works for the animals as well.
Rose was such a good sport. We give our own shots (provided by the vet), treat our animals for various things with topical and oral medications prescribed by the Vet etc. Most Vets around here are extremely gracious with spending their time teaching you how to do things yourself.
None of this is difficult but if your going to have animals or live in a remote area...you need to be prepared and educated to do simple medical procedures. We are an hour away from any medical or veterinary care...and sometimes time is critical not to mention that with the increasing cost of medical or veterinary care learning some simple things can save hundreds of dollars.
Rose was such a good patient and its also important to not have all the knowledge residing in just one person. We arent there yet but everyone on this farm will be certified in advanced first aid, adult and infant CPR, AED, treating burns, and recognizing the symptoms of heat injuries, stroke and anaphalactic shock. We'll get there.