I knew it was going to happen. I just didn’t think it would be this soon.
Things have been going well with our new Golden Doodle puppy, Brady. He’s 12 weeks old (we’ve had him for 4 weeks) and growing quickly.
He’s super smart and eager to please, and the indoor accidents are down to 1 or 2 a day, and that’s only if we’re not paying attention. He’s the perfect combination of playful and cuddly and has responded so well to puppy training I’m considering enrolling my 3 boys in a PetSmart class. Do they have obedience lessons for children?
But one thing he likes to do is chew. On anything. And everything.
It’s normal puppy behavior. We have commands that make him stop, and there are a dozen plush toys, knotted ropes, and rubber bones littering the floors of our living space to occupy his sharp little teeth. But sometimes, life gets in the way and we can’t watch him every minute.
That’s what happened one night this week when Brady got into some trouble. My 7-year-old, Eli was having a bad asthma attack so I propped him up on the couch with a mask on his face to breath in his Albuterol treatment through a nebulizer. (It looks and sounds much worse than it is.)
After the treatment, I put Eli to bed and came downstairs to watch TV. At some point in the evening– we don’t know when or how– Brady got a hold of a vial of Eli’s Albuterol medicine.
I heard him chewing on something, but it sounded like his rawhide bone. After a few minutes, I opened his mouth and realized it was an empty, chewed-up plastic vial. We could tell that it had been sealed, so he must have chewed it open and the liquid dripped out.
I tried to remain calm as it hit me that our unwitting puppy had just ingested poison. We couldn’t find any traces of the liquid so we had to assume he licked up whatever leaked out.
Remember my recent blog about how my 10-year-old son, Aden, hurt his shoulder and I neglected to seek medical attention for 3 days because I didn’t think he was really injured? And then it turned out to be a fractured collarbone, torn ligaments and a medium sprain? (Oops.)
Well apparently, with my kids, I’m willing to risk bodily harm, but I’m not taking any chances with Brady. (In fairness, if any of my toddler boys had ingested poison he too would be raced to the emergency room.)
As Wilson took to the internet to seek advice, I frantically called animal and human poison control, the vet, and the local 24-hour animal hospital. All concluded that Albuterol was BAD to ingest– especially for a 16-pound puppy– and required an immediate vet examination. I gave Wilson no option but to jump in the car with Brady at 11:45pm and head to the nearest animal hospital 30 minutes away.
Clueless little Brady made friends with everyone in the place with his tail-wagging and face-licking charm, and showed no symptoms of any distress. We were told the poison (if he ingested it) could cause heart problems, seizures, and/or disorientation. Although he showed no discomfort throughout the entire process, we were not willing to risk not treating him, especially since it was so late at night.
The vet hospital hooked him up to an IV with special fluids, fed him charcoal pills to soak up the toxins, and monitored him overnight. He came home the next morning exactly the same adorable puppy we know and love.
Except he did have a section of his paw shaved and taped where the IV was, which freaked the kids out a bit. But they slept through the whole trauma so Wilson and I bore the stress and guilt alone that night.
Good news? Brady is completely fine and now we know what to do in case of emergency and how careful we must be about watching him.
Bad news? That little visit cost $800!
Would love some advice on pet insurance from you dog lovers out there. Looks like we’re going to need it.