Seconds Matter! How First Aid Training Saved My Dog

I woke up one night at about 1am to the sound of my dog pacing around the house. He’d stop briefly to paw at the door, and then would continue to do circles around my living room and kitchen. As a side note, my dog doesn’t have a habit of destroying things in my house. I immediately got up to see what the problem was. I caught him trying to rip through a new bag of toilet paper. I assumed that he must have an upset stomach, and sent him outside for an emergency bathroom break. He went directly to a grassy patch of the yard and started eating the grass to make himself vomit. He then started moving further back in the yard and was eating not just grass but weeds and any other plant he could get in his mouth. I went outside to retrieve him but he wouldn’t come to me. He was on a mission. So I got a leash and was able to lead him back into the house. Once we were inside, he started obsessively pacing again. Something wasn’t right. I went back to check the toilet paper bag. There was a small rip in it with some of the plastic missing. But the pacing had started before he had gone after the bag, so I knew that wasn’t the root problem. I had taken an animal first aid course a few years back, so I knew that I’d probably have to induce vomiting. But I also knew that I had to confirm what he had ingested first. If it was anything corrosive or sharp, then vomiting could be fatal to him. I decided to do a quick scan of the house. I found what used to be a gift in a Toys R’ Us bag. The gift was there, but the bag was gone. Completely gone. Save one small scrap of plastic.

Nothing else was out of place, so now I knew that it was safe to induce vomiting. I checked my animal first aid handbook for the measurements of peroxide I should be using in regards to my dog’s weight. I had to improvise and use a turkey baster. I filled the turkey baster, and restrained my dog. (Another handy trick I learned in class. It took less than 30 seconds for him to throw up. First came the grass and plants, next the little bit of toilet paper plastic and then lastly, the Toys R’ Us Bag. It was a lot! I was so relieved that he was able to throw it all up and that I had known what to do before the bag had a chance to make it’s way into his digestive tract which, could have led to surgery. As for why he ate the plastic bag to begin with, that was my fault. He missed his walk due to weather the two days leading up to that, and obviously got bored. Now I know that I have to find other ways to entertain him when we are unable to go out for our walks.