Charity Magazine

When It Rains It Pours

By Thesheltershack @sheltershack
Charm & Daisy Sleeping

Charm & Daisy Sleeping

The economy is tight and we’re all feeling the pinch. If you’re like me, you’re going along thinking that just maybe you’re finally getting ahead of the game, and then something happens that sets you two steps backwards. Well I took two steps backwards last night. Charm and Daisy have landed themselves in the emergency clinic. I came home from an adoption event last night to find an empty bottle of Deramaxx on the floor. Deramaxx is an anti-inflammatory medicine used to treat arthritic dogs. The medicine was for Duke and it was a recently refilled bottle, so it had 15 tablets in there.

I keep the bottle on the kitchen counter along with all of the other medicines the dogs take. They’ve never bothered them before, so I’ve never given two thoughts about it. Charm is the only one agile enough to prop himself on the counter to reach them. Everything in me said he was the one that consumed them all. He was even acting guilty. Even though my gut told me he consumed them all, I couldn’t rule out Daisy as I found the empty pill bottle in the dining room. She very easily could have joined in on the “fun”. The cats wouldn’t have gotten into it, because they were locked in another area of the house, and Duke wasn’t a likely suspect either.

I called the emergency clinic to see if I even need to be concerned. They told me to call the ASPCA Poison Control Center for advice. This is a 24 hour hotline that is operated by the ASPCA and staffed with vets. If you should ever need to call on them, be prepared to have your credit card handy. They charge a $65 consultation fee.

The Poison Control Center said that there is a reason to be concerned given the potential dosage that either one of them could have consumed. It can impact the kidneys and possibly cause ulcers. They did not recommend inducing vomiting because of the time frame that the pills could have been consumed. Deramaxx is a chewable tablet that dissolves into the system pretty quickly and chances are there was nothing left in the stomach to even throw up. They recommended I take both dogs to the emergency clinic and gave me a case number for the emergency clinic to reference for further treatment instructions.

Charm and Daisy will be at the clinic for at least 48 hours. They’re being given IV fluids to help flush out the kidneys, charcoal to help absorb the toxins and antacids to help with any potential stomach upsets. I called to check in on them this morning and the vet said they’re both doing fine. The one thing the doctor told me that concerns me a little is that Charm hasn’t wanted to eat anything. I’ve never known Charm to refuse food…ever.

Their blood work will be rechecked Tuesday night. If everything checks out okay they can go home that night. They’ll need to get their blood work rechecked 24 hours after that by their normal vet. I can’t wait for them to come home. The house feels empty without them. The wallet unfortunately feels empty too. But I guess that is a small price to pay in comparison to the permanent loss I could be feeling right now.

Here are some of the hard lessons learned from this experience:

  • Never assume that just because you’ve never seen your dog get into a certain area or counter, then that means they never will. My dogs had never messed with stuff on the kitchen counter before, so I had a false sense of security with leaving the medicine there.
  • Always keep medicine and poisonous household items locked up.
  • Keep the phone numbers readily handy for your vet, your closest emergency vet clinic and the ASPCA Poison Control Center (888-426-4435).
  • Save for a rainy day. Start saving now for emergencies, or get your pet’s signed up for pet insurance.
  • Start planning for an emergency now. The ASPCA recommends you keep a first aid kit for your pet. The kit should contain:
    • A fresh bottle of hydrogen peroxide, 3 percent USP (to induce vomiting)
    • A turkey baster, bulb syringe or large medicine syringe for administering the peroxide
    • Saline eye solution
    • Artificial tear gel (to lubricate eyes after flushing)
    • Mild grease-cutting dishwashing liquid for bathing an animal after skin contamination
    • Forceps to remove stingers
    • A muzzle to protect yourself from harm
    • A can of you pet’s favorite wet food
    • A pet carrier

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