First Aid Strategies

Two Things YOU Must Know How to Do

This is Silky Jimmy, who at 5 years old was killed by a Buffo Toad. 

Usually when your dog is acting very odd, the best thing you can do is head immediately for your vet or the emergency clinic.

But there are a couple of scenarios where -- yes, you need to head for the vet -- but there are things you need to do FIRST that just might save his life.

If your dog comes in acting oddly, with any kind of drool, suspect that he has eaten or mouthed something poisonous. There are immediate first aid steps you need to take to minimize the poison entering your dogs system BEFORE you head for the vet.

In the south this "something poisonous" is often a buffo toad. These are not the garden variety toadlets that sweeten spring evenings with love songs. These are monster creatures that can get as big as a dinner plate.

They are highly, highly poisonous, especially for our wonderful small dogs who have never been known to keep their noses away from mischief. My Jimmy (World Ch. Tessier Jimmy Mack) died in 2000 from a close encounter with such a toad.

Even mouthing such a creature allows the poison to enter the dog’s system, if you don't act quickly and immediately.

First of all, if you live on the east coast of Florida below about Jupiter, do not leave your dog outside for more than a quick potty break in the evening. Buffos, like all toads, are nocturnal. And they are more prevalent on the east coast of Florida.

But no matter where you live, if your dog comes in the house drooling and acting wierd, suspect that he has had a run in with something poisonous.

Put your dog in the kitchen sink and flood his mouth with water from your spray attachment for a long, long time. How long? At least 10 minutes. Yes, you will be sopping wet from your dog spraying you when he shakes and your kitchen will resemble a lake but you may have just saved his life.

After this first aid you can take him to your vet. And he probably will be absolutely fine if not for the shivering from being wet for so long.


Even though it's less dramatic than poisonous creatures, action needs to be taken quickly if your dog swallows something sharp which you think might perforate his stomach or intestines.

Consider this:

The turned garbage pail, with bits of chicken bones all over the kitchen floor. The small burp from your dog, and his wagging tail.

You are sure he has eaten something awful, but before you prep your dog for the major surgery necessary to remove the offending bits heading down to shred his intestines, this first aid is very effective:

Take about one cotton puff per 2 lbs of dog and soak them in half and half. Feed them to your dog. The cotton most likely will wrap itself around the offending bits, which will then work their way harmlessly through your dog's system and out the other end. Do consult with your vet but feed the cotton balls first. Time is of the essence.

There you have it. These are the two scenarios I know of where you must act and act quickly to save your dog before heading to the vet. They are simple, non-invasive -- and might just save his life..

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