It goes without saying that I feel like an idiot. But I’m saying it anyway: I feel like an idiot. So let’s hope this doesn’t become a series.
In the six months since LB has dabbled in non-milk foods, ze has been liberal in hir intentional and unintentional sharing with Seamus. Not once, not even when ze has offered his own treats to him, has he ever taken anything from hir without explicit permission from me. I know this because I keep a close eye on them both. Seamus has been nothing but an angel toward his grabby, unempathetic, sometimes grubby sibling. An angel that stays nearby, but sets boundaries so that ze is slowly learning from our prompting, scolding, and swoop in for the occasional rescue that he likes to be close, he likes to be petted gently, but he does not like to be grabbed, twisted or licked. Ze still licks him. There’s nothing can be done about that. But still, I watch them. It’s irresponsible to take his patience for granted and ze is not nearly old enough to be trusted to respect his boundaries without guidance.
Naturally, that means that the one day that I take them both for a really long walk and playtime, the one time my brain checks out when we’re in sight of home, LB chucks hir snack bread over hir shoulder and Seamus snags it. He never does that. Ever. But in the split second I had to tell him NO and DROP IT, which he would have done, my brain failed us both and I didn’t. So he gulped it down and then my brain started whirring again.
That was raisin bread. Usually ze eats all the raisins first before gnawing at the crust but this time ze chucked half the slice, which ze hasn’t ever done, before chewing on it. Crap.
Raisins can be deadly for dogs.
Some dogs can eat grapes with reckless abandon. Some dogs can eat grapes, experience kidney failure, and die. Raisins are worse. You need as little as half a raisin for a 300 lb dog and if that dog is susceptible? It can be really bad.
Seamus is a big boy but he’s no 300 lbs and I couldn’t be certain that the bread had been de-raisined. I called the vet to be sure of the facts above and they confirmed: most possible ingested toxic things, if just a bite or less, they’d just suggest we induce vomiting (or they would) and watching overnight. Raisins are Bad News.
Of course, this happens right at LB’s naptime. Since we haven’t replaced his car yet, PiC had taken the car to work and we were carless so I couldn’t race them both to the vet, naptime or no. We’d run out of hydrogen peroxide so I couldn’t induce vomiting unless…
I strap a tired and angry LB into the stroller and raced down the street. Huffing and heaving, we rattle to the nearest store to grab the first bottle of peroxide we could find, pay for it and run back. Wishing with all my might that I were in better shape, and for that idiot catclling from his car to choke on his own spit and pass out, we mad-dash all the way back home. Intrigued by the commotion, LB’s grumbles have faded to an interested chirp, but once we pass the threshold, ze was bound and determined to be involved. Ze quick-crawls after us as Seamus is sent to the bathroom. Quickly, pop a bottle of milk into warming water, then run to the bathroom to measure out a tablespoon and pulling it into the syringe that … was too small. ARGH. Find another or…. Time was ticking, the longer I took, the more likely he would digest that raisin and his kidneys could start shutting down. They say you’ve got two hours, but you’ve really got to get that stuff out ASAP.
I risk a run to the closet to dig out the bigger syringes and SMASH. Of course. Of course LB wanted to know what I was working on and dashed the measuring cup of peroxide off the counter. I should have remembered that ze could reach it now. KIDS.
No matter, I have more. But forget that larger syringe, I’ll just refill this one. Five times. The syringe was only 3 ml, I needed 13. Drat and damn. With each syringe-full, he’s grumpier and more foamy. It helps none at all that LB’s extremely curious, first climbing up my side trying to help with the syringe, then sitting on his back legs to get a better view. His misery is such that he doesn’t even try to move away. The full tablespoon down his gullet, he tucks his head under his back paws, almost pointedly turning his back on me.
Apologetically, I scoop LB up and plop hir on the cushion with the milk, then sit next to Seamus petting him while spreading out the newspapers for the pending regurgitation. In almost no time, ze tossed the bottle aside and comes looking for us so that’s my cue to put hir in bed, all protests and wails.
Ten minutes later, nothing but yowls from LB.
This time, I find the 12 ml syringe. Another two tablespoons, down the hatch. More foam, and with it, an almost satisfying heaving that I was sure would do the trick. Being a hero, he just swallows and swallows and swallows until the urge passes. Fraggit! I text PiC that he may have to leave work early and take over at home so I could take Seamus in for a real induction.
Ten minutes later, still nothing.
One last time.
Seamus is really out of patience with me but down the hatch it goes. And I encourage him to just let it out. Just don’t fight it. And there it is! A lake of foam and food spreads on the newspapers. Never has poking through a pile of vomit been such a relief.
Amid the foam, the carrot chunks and the kibble, I found our culprit. One half raisin.
Elation wars with a sinking stomach. Another call to the vet confirms we still should have him in for treatment. PiC texts that he’s on his way and by 4:30, this saga started at 2, Seamus and I are loaded up and rolling out of the garage. I’m packing a book, a bottle of water, and a phone that’s running out of juice. Of course it is. But with plenty of deep breathing and careful navigating, we arrive safely at our destination.
Social Time! Seamus’s ears say.
No, I’m sorry, not really.
The vet confirms that if it were her pup, she wouldn’t go so far as the “gold standard” of 48 hours in hospital with IV fluids, the next step down should be plenty since it was half a raisin and we retrieved it.
He happily runs off to be poked, poked again, and dosed with activated charcoal.
His kidneys, according to the labwork, seem to be ok, and they’ll want to see him back in 3 days to confirm they are still fine. 72 hours, they say, til we’re out of the woods. $250 today, and another $75 later this week, if he’s fine. Small price to pay, I suppose, in the grand scheme of things, but from now on, wheat bread for walks!
We get home at 6 and still manage to get dinner on the table by 7, and by 8:30, I finally get to sit down at the computer to get my work done. What a day!