A Doggy Drama

October 15, 2011 at 2:16 pm 4 comments

This week featured one of the most dramatic nights of my 24-odd years. Tuesday was a fairly normal day, as far as days go. Matt and I were both recovering from a nasty flu, so at about 8.30pm I was curled up in bed watching tv  when Matt came in to tell me that Ciara, our youngest dog, was having a sneezing fit. She’d already sneezed about 15 times when he came in to me, and she was not stopping. She was sneezing so much she barely had time to breathe between sneezes, which was freaking us out, so we brought her inside to have a closer look.


That was when we saw the blood. Yes, our dog was sneezing blood. Not good! I held her and got her leash onto her while Matt called the vet hospital at Murdoch University to get us in. We were so distracted that I nearly left the house without shoes on, and we both almost forgot our wallets.

In the car, Matt drove while I sat in the back holding Ciara, trying to keep her calm and trying (in vain) to minimise the amount of blood going everywhere. I got covered in blood, I looked like I belonged in a zombie apocalypse movie, but I honestly couldn’t care less – although the time she gave me an unexpected kiss right on the mouth in a gap between sneezes was gross!

Fortunately her sneezes did calm down in the car, and by the time we got to the vet she’d mostly stopped except for the occasional bout of sneezes.

We had a bit of a wait for the vet, so I had time to go and clean myself up a bit in the bathroom. There wasn’t much I could do about my clothes, but I got the blood off my arms, chest and face at least. Let me tell you, I got some weird looks from people in the waiting room!

When we got to see the vet, it turned out that all that drama was being caused by… a grass seed. Yep, Ciara had managed to inhale one and get it stuck up her nose where it was causing all kinds of irritation! They had to put her under to investigate and get it out, which is always a bit scary, regardless of how young and healthy she is. We went and waited at my parents house, since they live five minutes away, so I could clean up a bit more.

After all that, we got our (not so) little one home a little before midnight. She was as hyper as ever, after being given a shot of adrenaline to wake her up!

It was a stressful, messy and expensive evening, but all I can think is how glad I am that she’s okay. And also that we need to take better care of our backyard! It’s a desert in summer, but in winter with all the rain it got out of control. I definitely want to avoid this happening again!

Now, to reward you for reading this (can it really be counted as a reward?) here’s a blow-by-blow on how I got the blood stains out of the car upholstery. Because I figure that between pets, kids and drunk friends, this is an issue that everyone will have to face at some point in their lives!

Now, I had no idea about how to get blood out of a car, so of course I did some research first… by which I mean, I asked Twitter.

Of course, some answers were more helpful than others. I decided not to ask this guy how he knew that…

But I did also get a lot of great advice. The best tip was to use cold water, not hot. That was a big surprise to me! I would have used hot water, but apparently warm or hot water can actually seal in the blood stains, whereas cold water lifts it right out!

Also, I learned that using a dabbing motion rather than a scrubbing action would help to lift it out of the fabric rather than pushing it in.

So here’s what I did:

How to remove blood stains from car upholstery


Cold water (I used water from the fridge and added ice blocks)

Nappisan (just a little bit mixed into the cold water)

Large, two-sided car sponge (raised texture on one side, flat on the other)

Spray bottle

Bicarbonate of soda


Mix cold water, ice blocks and nappisan in a bucket or bowl, depending how big a stain you are dealing with.

Fill spray bottle with cold water mixture.

Discover that spray bottle does not actually spray. Twist and turn nozzle every which way, even taking it all the way off, and observe that no matter what you do, the liquid in the spray bottle won’t make it more than halfway up the tube.

Abandon no-spray bottle and just use the sponge instead (warning – if you use this method things will get pretty wet, so make sure you have plenty of time to air the car out so it doesn’t get smelly)

Dip the sponge into the cold water, wring out and then dab the blood stain/s firmly until they fade and disappear. I found the textured side of the sponge worked best on the seats themselves, while the flat side worked best on the backs of the front seats.

For metal or plastic parts that have blood spatter, you can scrub (I found the textured side worked best here), and it comes off pretty easily. Just make sure there’s no blood on the upholstery around it before you do that, so you don’t risk scrubbing in some of the fabric stains while cleaning the plastic.

The worst area was the backseat behind the drivers chair, since that’s where Ciara was sitting. Matt had put down a plastic sheet that we keep in the car for the dogs, but she kept shifting around and moving it, so that seat suffered a lot.

I started there first so that the seat would have time to dry a bit while I did the rest. On the down side, it meant that when I was doing the backs of the front seats I had to sit in the wet patch for a while. Mmm, soggy butt!

Ultimately, cleaning the blood stains of the seats, headrests, doors and centre console (dogs can’t exactly cover their mouths when they sneeze, so despite my best efforts, the blood still went everywhere) took about an hour to an hour and a half – I wasn’t keeping track of exactly how long it took.

When I was done with the cleaning, I grabbed a box of bicarbonate of soda and sprinkled a thick coat over all the wet areas, to help absorb moisture and any smells, and left the car with the windows open to air it out. I’ll vacuum up the bicarb once the car’s dried a bit more, and hopefully it will all be good!

I haven’t tackled the carpet yet, but I did manage to keep that partially covered with paper towels and other things, so it isn’t quite as bad. Hopefully it won’t be a big job =s

So there you go – cold water, nappisan and a dabbing motion help to get blood stains out of car upholstery! I wish I’d learned that cold water trick before putting my bloodstained clothes into a bucket of hot water to soak… oh well, live and learn. Besides, a friend told me Kmart has $10 jeans at the moment, so if I have to get some new ones it’s not the end of the world.

And at the end of the day, I have two happy, healthy pups playing in the back yard, so isn’t that what really matters?

Zayena (at the back) and Ciara (to the front)

Ever had to tackle an odd stain? Got any nifty tricks for stain removal? What about doggy dramas? All of ours seem to happen with Ciara, I think because she’s so silly and carefree, whereas our other dog, Zayena, is a lot more calm and sensible.


Entry filed under: Author's Notebook, Blog, Gratitude. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , .

A play on words The Irrelephant

4 Comments Add your own

  • […] it – the closest my life has come to an action movie was rushing my dog to the vet when she started sneezing blood and subsequently cleaning blood out of the car (that part was more like a crime […]

  • 2. Liza  |  October 23, 2011 at 3:12 pm

    Poor, poor Ciara 😦 I’m glad it all turned out ok!

    • 3. squeakychrissie  |  October 23, 2011 at 3:51 pm

      Thanks Liza! I was very relieved. The vet was great 🙂

  • 4. cornerofmain  |  October 19, 2011 at 11:43 pm

    Oh my goodness, how scary! I would have been freaking out. I am glad your doggie is ok, and thanks for the bloody tip 😉


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