Monday, December 13, 2010

Scary Vet Trip

On Friday night, my boyfriend and I closed the bedroom door and went to bed. We usually let the dogs into the bedroom, but we decided that they were happy outside and we were trying to set up some boundaries in our apartment.

Bruno whined for a while but eventually we didn't hear him and assumed the two were sleeping happily. At 3:30 am, my boyfriend and I were woken up by more whimpering, and my boyfriend got up to go to the bathroom. When he opened the door he swore loudly and I jumped out of bed.

Bruno had gone to the bathroom and thrown up ALL over the apartment. We searched quickly and found that he had gotten into a bottle of pills that I had left on the dining room table and had eaten a whole box of jelly beans and destroyed a number of other things, including my earmuffs that I had brought less than 12 hours before.

We were terrified. I was convinced he was going to die because he had eaten so many pills. We called poison control and ran outside to get a cab to the emergency vet. When we got into the cab, the cabbie said a dog had just destroyed his cab and it was brand new. We said we'd be careful, and we had a roll of paper towels in my bag, but Bruno threw up again anyway, and the cabbie was outraged. Luckily he accepted $40 dollars and we made it to the vet.

When we got there we explained everything to the vet and she counted the max. number of pills he could have eaten and called poison control again. They didn't have to pump his stomach because he had thrown up so much already. Strangely, the vet said the pills weren't here biggest concern- if a human had ingested that many, they would have OD-ed, but dogs don't react the same way. The bigger concern, she said, was the jelly beans. Apparently that amount of concentrated sugar and high fructose corn syrup can cause the whole body to become dehydrated and cause the cells in the brain to rupture, which could have caused neurological damage. They pumped him full of fluids, so it looked like the had a giant hump on his back.

Due to costs, we had to decline the stomach x ray (Pitties have such deep chests, the vet couldn't even feel his stomach to check if it was distended) and luckily, he didn't need one because we walked him all the way home in the dark (the sun rose on the way) and he was in perfect spirits and everything was fine the next day.

The only good news (or bad news) that came from the experience was that we found out that Bruno has some sort of kidney or thyroid disease. We explained to the vet that he drinks a lot (and seeks out water in the tub/toilet/knocks over glasses to get at a drop of water), and after viewing his blood work, she said he has hypercalemia and probably PU/PD. We will have to get Vet insurance and take him to find out what is really wrong.

Vet bills are so prohibitively expensive. Our total bill came to over $600, but they recommended x-rays and keeping him for observation which would have brought the total to over $1500. Especially now that Bruno has health issues, we will have to get insurance, I just hope his PU/PD won't be a "pre-existing condition." It is really too bad that there are no Not-for-profit vet clinics for people who are trying to keep their pets but can't afford their care. So many dogs end up dying at the shelter because their owners cannot afford their vet bills and have to give them up.

1 comment:

  1. Yikes! Poor Bruno. What a terrifying night. I'm so glad everything worked out okay, at least for now. It's too bad the cab driver wasn't at all understanding of your situation. With no car myself, I've often wondered what I would do in an emergency. It's a scary thought.

    I hope Bruno's medical problems prove not to be too serious or pre-existing and that insurance covers all the expenses. I will be thinking of you.


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