Greetings, friends. It’s been forever since I wrote for our little blog, a problem I hope to start remedying soon.
Monday morning, as in many homes, is generally the roughest one of the week in the dollhouse. This one was a doozy.
I baked The Electrician’s grandpa his favourite dessert, raisin pie, last night and left it out to cool overnight. As a bit of a joke, I cut the vents in the top crust in an “H” shape so the pie was labelled with Grandpa’s initial. What better than a custom, monogrammed pie, yes? I finished it late last night and left it out to cool while we slept.
This morning, as I was eating my oatmeal, I called Sherman and he did not respond. He is sometimes a bit of a stubborn butthead, so I called him again with more gusto. Then I heard the tinkly sound of his tag rattling against something metal and decided to investigate.
I caught him snout deep in Grandpa’s pie, both paws up on the stove top. He took off for the living room when he saw the look on my face. I felt like a total idiot for leaving a pie out, while Sherm was loose, but in the early morning brain fog I simply didn’t think about it.
For some reason, I was still on auto-pilot and agreed to hold when the receptionist who answered at our vet clinic said, “Is this an emergency or can you please hold?” For the dog lovers out there, raisins inside your dog are an emergency, and you cannot afford to hold. (Note I took the photo above after returning from the vet. Documenting events comes after saving the dog.)
Our awesome regular vet had not arrived at the office yet when Sherm and I got there this morning, so her also wonderful colleague oversaw our spotted dog’s treatment. The bill lists this part of the morning as “emergency detoxification,” which apparently is vet jargon for “so much vomiting,” followed by a big dose of activated charcoal.
Take a moment and think about the worst part of your day. I invite you now to think about how the vet tech’s day started: investigating just how many raisins Sherman ingested by sorting and weighing the contents of his vomit. Yes, that poor lady (bless her) spent her early morning sorting dog puke into categories based on appearance and texture. The task was likely intensified by how similar kibble looks to cooked raisins. I hope, no matter how rough your day was, it was still better than that poor veterinary tech’s. I can almost guarantee it was better than Sherman’s.
Sorting the vomit revealed the quantity of raisins Sherman ate out of the pie. I suppose the good news about cooking the pastry that almost killed my dog is that I knew the quantity of raisins in it and could help compare the missing amount to the recovered amount from his belly.
According to the vet, raisins are so toxic to dogs that it only takes a tenth of an ounce per kilogram of body weight to cause serious, potentially fatal kidney damage. Based on the results of his emergency detoxification, Sherman ingested more than enough raisins to kill him. We were very lucky I caught him in the pie and was able to act immediately. Had I failed to notice what he’d done and left for work, it is highly unlikely he would have survived.
The vet said we could either hospitalize Sherman overnight to support his kidneys on IV fluids, just in case, or take him home, keep him hydrated, and monitor him closely for any dangerous symptoms. Because we began detoxification so quickly, and because Sherman is strong and healthy, we opted to take Sherman home. He had baseline blood work to check his kidney function and will have a repeat test in 24 hours to make sure his kidneys are operating normally.
Part of the at-home treatment for poor Sherman was a big dose of activated charcoal to absorb any of the poisons left in his digestive tract and carry them out of his body. I’ve had to do some pretty undignified things to dogs, some fosters and sometimes my own, but I have never felt as terrible about a necessary evil as I did dripping that gunk down his throat from the very big syringes. The Electrician held him for me while I wrangled the tubes.
Activated charcoal looks like ground barbeque briquets. I think it may be very close to actually being ground up barbeque briquets, and it moves like wet sand. It’s also the blackest black that has ever been. If I could get eyeliner the colour of Sherman’s medicine, I would be a happy woman. Poor Sherman made it through half his dose before he growled at me for the first time in his life, but he didn’t try to bite. I’m pretty sure he was feeling bitey on the inside, though. I was gagging trying to watch him swallow the stuff, so I can’t imagine how gross it was for him.
Sherman’s tummy is gurgling from the charcoal. All he’s had to eat since the pie and his breakfast made their dramatic reappearance was the black stuff, so I imagine the gastric symphony is one part hunger and two parts activated charcoal, uh, activating?
And now, we wait. Sherman’s blood test first thing in the morning should indicate the damage done to his kidneys, if any. He is acting normal except for being confused by his tummy sounds and seems to be feeling well, if a little sorry for himself. Please keep us in your thoughts in the next little while as we wait to find out whether he’s going to be okay.
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