By Annie Fitt -
I apologize if you have already seen this on the other
lists I have posted this to, but I feel quite strongly that I need to
pass my experience on to as wide an audience as possible...
Folks, I know we all try our best to cover all bases,
but sometimes things that seem perfectly obvious in hindsight come out
of nowhere to bite us in the butt. If the past 60 hours have taught me
anything it is that there is no such thing as being too careful.
It has been very, very hot here in Virginia and the dogs
haven't gotten their usual exercise which has led to bored dogs with
lots of energy and few outlets. I have been getting up at dawn to run
their little heinies off before the heat of the day, but even that
wasn't enough for Soup, who is *very* bright, fit, and energetic. He is
a kleptomaniac of epic proportions at the best of times. Early Sunday
morning he stole my purse from the top of a 5' bookcase and snuck it out
the dogdoor. This would have merely been a major irritation (the wallet,
the cash, the credit card, the driver's license, the $450 pair of
glasses) but also in the purse was a major
All human and canine medicines, etc., live on a high
shelf in a closet in my bathroom, and the door is kept shut to the
bathroom at all times. Cleaning materials are kept safe from curious dog
jaws. I make a real effort to keep my guys safe.
The danger I overlooked was the bottle of 25 Advils I
keep in my purse for those times when my aging body tells me it needs a
3 to 6 200 mg tablets of ibuprofen (the generic name of
Advil) is enough to give a dog bleeding ulcers. More than that can cause
permanent kidney and liver damage, and even kill. With 25 tablets we are
talking *well* into the lethal dose for a dog the size of a Whippet.
That was mistake #1. Mistake # 2 was even though I
always keep a bottle of peroxide on hand to make a dog vomit if I have
to, the bottle was too old and had lost its fizz. Flat peroxide does NOT
cause vomiting. Trust me on this.
Some things I did do right. I didn't listen to the
receptionist at the nearer emergency clinic (only 45 miles away who said
"Feed him a couple of slices of bread and keep an eye on him". I *did*
call the Animal Poison Control Hotline. I did get Soup and Bean into the
Richmond emergency clinic, and Goose into my regular vet.
Soup and Goose are fine and will be released from care
after 72 hours on IV fluids and various meds. They are looking at bland
food and oral acid blockers for a week or so, and a couple of more blood
tests to monitor their recovery. Bean was not so lucky, and it is too
early to tell if she will have permanent kidney and liver damage. She
will be on fluids until she gets better or there is no more improvement.
Hopefully she will fully recover, but even now she should have decent
quality of life if we are careful about her diet and maintenance...
So, *please* go through your purses/tack bags/whatever
-- anywhere you might have medicine that could injure your dogs and make
sure it is removed or put into a truly dog-proof container (i. e., NOT
Go through your emergency kit and make sure your
hydrogen peroxide is fresh and bubbly and make sure it is replaced
often. A couple of dollars is a cheap price to pay to avoid a lot of
Keep the Animal Poison Control Hotline number available
where you can find it even in a dead panic. It costs $45 to consult them
but is worth every penny. They will know whether you have nothing to
worry about or just minutes to get to a vet. The number is
1-888-426-4435. This is the number for the USA. If you aren't in the US,
find out if there is a hotline available to you and write the number in
a prominent place.
It is perhaps odd to feel lucky after spending close to
$2,000 with no end yet in sight, but all I can think is I *am* lucky.
Lucky that things ended up no worse, that 2 of the 3 dogs affected seem
to have dodged the bullet, that Bean may never get back to normal, but
should be OK. Lucky that even though it was NOT what I had planned to
spend all this money on I had it available when I needed it. Soup is
lucky, too, because I was too busy being worried to get mad...
Annie Fitt <email@example.com>
& the Ragtag Horde ~ Whippets, of course!
PS: Permission to repost is given as long as my name and
address stay with it. In fact, the more places it is posted the more
likely it is that someone else and their dogs will avoid going through
the same kind of experience
Go on to Vegan "Blue Cheese" Dressing
Return to 11 August 2002 Issue
Return to Newsletters
** Fair Use Notice**
This document may contain copyrighted material, use of which has not been
specifically authorized by the copyright owners. I believe that this
not-for-profit, educational use on the Web constitutes a fair use of the
copyrighted material (as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright
Law). If you wish to use this copyrighted material for purposes of your
own that go beyond fair use, you must obtain permission from the copyright