Let's begin with a basic first aid kit. These are items that every monkey parent should have at the ready. Although you may have these items already laying about for your own use, take the time to have a separate "Monkey First Aid" kit. Should the need ever arise, you will
be happy you took the proper precautions and have a well-organized and
freshly stocked first aid kit so easily accessible. Trust that if an emergency arises, running around the house locating what you need is the last thing you want to do.
I have these
items organized and packed in an case the size of a "carry on" that I
keep right behind the bedroom door. Small items are in easy access zip bags and
clearly labeled. Expiration dates are written in large letters and
taped on items where applicable and I rotate my stock as needed. Don't
take unnecessary chances. I organized my First Aid Kit in just a couple
of hours. A small investment for such an important item.
BASIC FIRST AID KIT
Disposable latex gloves Betadine (or comparable hand disinfectant) safely used to clean wounds as well Styptic powder to stop bleeding (This also comes in a convenient liquid or gel tube) Gerber baby white grape juice Saline nose drops (Recommended brands: Little Nose Saline Drops, Baby Ayr Saline Drops, Fess Little Noses Saline Drops) Tums (fruit flavors) Alcohol wipes Ensure (strawberry is the most popular with the monks) Pedialyte Pepto Bismol Hydrogen Peroxide Children's Tylenol(liquid) Baby Food Fruit (banana, pear, applesauce) Digital Rectal Thermometer (with Flexi-tip) K-Y Jelly (for thermometer lubricant) Scissors (small blunt tip but sharp) Adhesive Bandage Tape (wide and narrow width) Large Gauze Pads (3 or 4) Gauze Roll Bandages (1 un-opened) Antibiotic Topical Ointment like Neosporin Heating Pad with cover 2 Soft Towels (at least one of them large enough to wrap up the monkey) Flannel Squares } a few of each in varying sizes 2 soft cotton terry wash cloths Tweezers (both square tip and pointed for different uses) Cotton Swabs (the plastic ones that flex) 1 Bottle of DISTILLED water (Distilled water is sterile for wound cleaning)
I know it may sound odd to some that a creature so perfectly designed to swing freely through trees and move lightning fast to escape predators can even get motion sickness, but they do! I've heard from a few monk moms now that as much as the "kids" enjoy road trips and riding in the car a few of them actually do seem to get an upset tummy. I contacted my vet and here is the solution: Get Dramamine that has dosing instructions for babies two and up. Generally that dosing calls for a 1/2 a pill for a two year old. For small monks like Marmosets and Tamarins give 1/4 of this recommended dose (or 1/8 of a pill). For larger monks like Squirrels or young Capuchin give half of this dose (or 1/4 of a pill). For larger monks that weigh over 5 pounds give the infant dosage or 1/2 a pill. This worked a miracle for my little guy that had been getting sick in the car. He sat on my shoulder and enjoyed the ride with no upset tummy. Dramamine works much as an anti-histamine and can cause a bit of drowsiness, so carefully follow dosing recommendations.
It is important to know your companion well because early signs of illness or discomfort can be very subtle. Non-human primates have a well deserved reputation for concealing any sign or pain or illness. According to vets I've spoken with, NHP's are notorious for their stoicism in the face of physical distress. This behavioral adaption evolved to protect the animal from predators but also makes early diagnoses of illness very challenging. Recognizing even small, seemingly insignificant changes in your pet can be monumentally important for a successful recovery. Here are a few things to look for:
a change in normal gait or posture
change in activity level (no longer playing with favorite toys...etc)
sudden change in attitude or personality
hyperactivity or restlessness
nervousness or altered facial expression
listlessness or unwillingness to move or get up
favoring a body part
excessive licking or salivation
reduced intake of food or water...ignoring even his favorite food
loss of body weight (why it is so important to weigh your baby regularly
change in skin or coat (greasy or dull)
excessive grooming or self-mutilation
watery eyes or a "sleepy" droopy look (a happy monkey has bright eyes)
Often when a primate is approached it will ignore it's pain in an effort to get away, so observation from a distance can often tell a better story
Get your baby accustomed to being groomed and bathed early on. This grooming time is the perfect opportunity to check for swelling or lumps. It also gives you time to check between little fingers and toes and into ears and noses. At the first sign of anything that seems curious or out of place... call your vet!
I'll be working all month on this much-asked for health section with basic first aid and quick fixes for small problems like upset tummies, diarrhea and motion sickness and little owies.... etc.. and such. I promise to have it completed ASAP! Thanks for all your support and kindness and patience and priceless input!
If you have general questions or need details about any of our products, or if you just need to "monkey" talk, please contact me at (253) 862-0432 or email me at LindaLawrence@aol.com If I'm unable to answer your questions, I'll do my best to direct you to someone who can.