This past summer, we experienced our first real emergency together involving none other than our sweet puppy. We wanted Howie to be adjusted to his new home before we moved in to avoid the anxiety and depression that comes when you put a dog through sudden change so any time we were over at the house, we brought Howard with us. He loved being included and exploring his new home. His curious nature got the best of him one night when we were prepping the cabinets and drawers to be painted the next day. While Joe and I were taping and prepping, we noticed Howie hanging out in the bottom of the cupboard area that we'd just removed drawers from. When we looked closer, we discovered him munching on a tray of rat poison that had been overlooked in our original purge of them. (I'm not sure why the previous owners needed so much rat poison, but we found it everywhere.)
^^ Exhausted and under close observation after the rat poison incident. He had to sleep on the doors we'd painted. ^^
We immediately called the poison control number listed on the back of the box and talked to someone on the hotline specifically for animals. They told us to feed him a little bit of food, then give him a specific of amount of hydrogen peroxide and walk him around the backyard until his body rid itself of the ingested poison. After a trip to the nearby grocery store we did just that, except Howie refused to walk around the yard because he was so uncomfortable, so Joe sat and shook his belly instead. Luckily the rat poison was blue, so we could tell when there was no more left in his system and we felt fairly positive that he hadn't eaten a fatal amount and that we'd caught him in time to take care of it before any was digested. Still, we watched him carefully for signs of GI issues over the next couple of weeks so that we could take him to the vet if we needed to.
I always feel a little helpless when I can tell that Howie isn't feeling well because he can't tell me what is bothering him and I have to guess and hope that whatever I decide to do helps him feel better. One thing I've learned as a puppy parent is that they're going to get sick every once and a while, no matter how much you do to keep them healthy. We keep our pup up to date on his vaccinations, make sure he takes his heartworm medicine, give him quality food and treats and try to keep him away from things that he shouldn't eat. Even with all of our precautions, Mr. Howard finds things to eat in the yard, gets a sensitive stomach, and sometimes just feels crummy for no reason at all.
Howie has shown so much concern any time I've been sick during this pregnancy and yesterday he was by my side through my stomach flu ickiness (and probably will be again today). He does everything that he can for me when I'm not feeling well, including kissing/licking the tears off my face, cuddling and just being there, so I want to make sure that I'm doing the same for him when he's not feeling well.
Royal Canin suggests that "when your dog has symptoms of an upset stomach, it's important to take him to your veterinarian so they can get to the bottom of their GI issue and prevent any more accidents at home." Most of the time, we notice that Howie is sick at night, after his vet's office has closed, so we turn to Web MD and do everything that we can for him and then if there are still issues in the morning, we call into the vet to see what they suggest. It breaks my heart to see my sweet puppy boy not feeling well and I'm always happy when he feels better and I know that I did everything I could to help him feel that way. And even though some of the things we have to do are torturous to him (like the hydrogen peroxide "science experiment" he went through), I know he still loves me and I hope he understands that I'm only doing it to help him feel better!
^^ Rare puppy snuggles from a sick boy ^^
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.