Press Release: Wheat Ridge Kennel Employee Saves Dog’s Life, Receives Canine Life-Saving Award

WHEAT RIDGE, CO – An employee of a Wheat Ridge pet hotel and dog daycare facility was recently recognized for her quick actions that saved a dog’s life. Mariela Bonilla, a shift manager at Beds-N-Biscuits, was awarded the “Life-Saving Award” by K9 First Aid & CPR Partners, an organization that provides first aid and CPR training to the pet care industry. The ceremony took place on March 6, 2020, at Beds-N-Biscuits.

On February 15, 2020, Ms. Bonilla was finishing her shift and noticed Sugar, an 11-year-old Golden Labrador Retriever, hadn’t eaten her evening meal and was acting agitated. Ms. Bonilla knew these behaviors were out of character for Sugar as she usually finished her meal right away and settled down for a nap. Although lack of appetite and agitation are both symptoms of bloat, or Gastric Dilatation-Volvulus (GDV), a rapidly progressive life-threatening condition in dogs, the symptoms were mild, and the dog wasn’t displaying some of the other characteristic signs. Ms. Bonilla was trained to recognize these symptoms and acted quickly, in a situation where many might have dismissed Sugar’s behaviors as normal. Sugar was rushed to Wheat Ridge Animal Hospital where emergency veterinarian, Dr. Cameo Carbone, confirmed Ms. Bonilla’s suspicion. Sugar underwent emergency surgery that repaired the condition and saved her life. Sugar is now home recovering with her family with no-lasting effects.

“We couldn’t be prouder of Mariela,” said Bruce Miller, owner of Beds-N-Biscuits. “GDV often doesn’t have such a positive outcome because the stomach is quickly damaged due to lack of oxygen.”  “Mariela’s quick actions saved this dog’s life,” he added.

GDV, which is commonly referred to as bloat, is a medical and surgical emergency in dogs. As the stomach fills with air, pressure builds, stopping blood from the hind legs and abdomen from returning to the heart. Blood pools at the back of the body, reducing the working blood volume and sending the dog into shock. All dog owners should know the signs of bloat: change of behavior and posture, pacing, may have a distended (bloated) stomach, unsuccessful vomiting, or the dog can only bring up foamy saliva, restlessness, inability to lie down, rapid shallow breathing, and pale mucus membranes. If there is any question if your dog is bloating it is recommended that you seek veterinary care immediately.

About K9 First Aid and CPR Partners

The K9 First aid and CPR program started in 2009 and since that time there have been over 2700 students trained. This veterinary-based material is taught by paramedics as students learn how to provide care to an injured or sick dog who may be facing a life-threatening emergency. The 5 ½-hour course covers over 20 topics including first-aid kits, bandaging, how to control bleeding, snake bites, how to perform the Heimlich on a choking dog, bloat, CPR and much more. One thing we focus on is how to “read” the dog for signs of aggression and to see if the dog is approachable to provide care. Currently, all the classes listed on the web site are designed for the everyday pet owner. Specific courses are also available for dog daycare providers and we also have a course for police, fire, and EMS. The EMS provider course is specific to State Bill 14-139 allowing EMS providers to provide emergency medical care to cats and dogs.

About Beds-N-Biscuits

Beds-N-Biscuits is a dog boarding and daycare facility and has been serving the greater Denver area since 2002. With spacious, climate-controlled indoor kennels, fun outdoor play yards, and experienced staff, Beds-N-Biscuits offers premium dog boarding, daycare, and grooming services. Beds-N-Biscuits is open 7 days a week, employs 22 people, and is a privately held company in Wheat Ridge, Colorado.