Sunday, February 12, 2012

SHADE & THE RAT POISON

click photos to enlarge




I had a day off Thursday and wasn't feeling too peppy.  It felt like I was coming down with something.  I slept in until 11 AM.  Some guys from my work group were up at the TWRA work center cleaning the place up and I thought I might stop in to see what was going on.  Shade jumped in the truck and we were off.  She needed exercise anyway and Buffalo Springs has a lot of property to scrounge around on.  Shade loves to splash in the creek that flows out of the trout hatchery just down the hill from our work center.
I couldn't believe the change I saw in the work center.  Everything was neat and clean.  That floor in the picture had boat engines, tables and parts all over the floor last time I saw it.  This is the building and room where I fixed the broken transmission on my boat engine after hitting a rock on Douglas Lake last week.  They did a fantastic job of cleaning up!
I was talking shop talk with one of the guys when a friend Jim ran over behind me and knocked something out of Shade's mouth.  Shade retaliated by biting him on the arm.  Jim is a dog lover and understood.  He said Shade had picked up a block of green rat poison.  He got it out of her mouth before she could eat the whole block but, she did eat about an eighth of it.  We're in the middle of nowhere up here with town miles away.  Jim told me to dump hydrogen peroxide down her throat to make her vomit, thereby emitting the poison before it could be digested.  There was none in the medicine box.
I hustled her into the truck and blasted down the road to a tiny convenience store about three miles away.  I hoped with everything I had that they had the hydrogen peroxide in stock.  I rushed into the store and found the only bottle on the shelf.  I said, "I'll be back in to pay for this in a second", to the girl at the register and ran out to the truck to get Shade and pour this stuff into her.  Hydrogen Peroxide will make a dog vomit instantly.  Shade trusts me and sat when I told her to.  I opened her mouth and poured the contents of the bottle down her throat.  She didn't fight me or move.  She just sat there.  She trusted me and knew I would not harm her.  I hated to intentionally make her sick but had no choice.  She vomited and the green material was there on the ground.  She heaved and vomited again and again.  The contents of her stomach were clear and free of the color green.  I felt better about the matter.  We then drove back to the work center for a walk to the stream.  She seemed fine.  Friends told me she would be fine because the poison didn't have time to be digested into her system.
At home, that night, my friend Paul emailed me a computer link to a veterinary question and answer piece about poison.  It said that even though the dog vomits out the poison, they need to have a course of vitamin "K" administered by a vet to assure there is no poison in the blood stream.  I became uneasy about this new information and watched her closely.  Hours later we went to bed.  I left her sleep beside me on the bed.  She had a rough day.   About 4 AM she started heaving and vomiting.  I immediately checked the mess and saw blood.  Oh no!  I pulled on the first clothes I found and got her in the truck for the ride to Friendsville back west of here where my vet is.  I have the best veterinarian service in the state an hour west of here.  I made the trip in thirty minutes.
Dr. Webb, the finest Doc there is, checked Shade out and told me I would have to leave her at the clinic for an intravenous injection of vitamin "K".  X rays would be necessary also to assure there was no more clumped pieces of poison left inside her.  She said I may have to leave her overnight if there were complications.  I told her I would wait in town until she called me about Shade's condition.
I drove down to Smoky Mountain Harley Davidson where I used to work and visited with friends I hadn't seen for months.  I was worried.
People get on me about my feelings about dogs and I understand.  They just don't have the relationship with dogs that I do.  These guys are not just dogs.  They are my friends.  Shade is my best friend.  She's my kid.  That dog is bonded to me and trusts me in every way.  The bond between us has strengthened over the past six months to where its difficult to be separated from her even for a day.  Shes with me day and night.  Now, my kid is in a dangerous situation and I'm sick about it.  Thank heaven my friend Jim saw her eating the poison and promptly acted.  And thank heaven my friend Paul sent me that heads up about the vitamin "K".  He just researched it on the internet out of doubt that more action might be needed.
The phone rang at 3 PM.  Dr. Webb said I could take Shade home in half and hour.  I sighed relief.  Shade was all bright eyed and sleek looking when she came out to the waiting room where I was.  She saw me and the tail started wagging and she ran to me as if she had not seen me in a month.  She got a big hug and a squeeze.  Everything was fine.  I have a bottle of  vitamin "K" pills that she will need to take daily until they are gone.


That night I allowed her to sleep in bed again and I loved feeling her cold nose against the back of my neck. I slept really soundly and so did Shade.


This afternoon I opened the frig to get a hot dog out and inadvertently left the door open.  As I put the mustard away after applying it to my microwaved hot dog I noticed the door still open on the tiny fridge.  I bent to close it and the package of hot dogs was missing.  Shade!  I went upstairs and Shade was laying on the dog pillow under one of the end tables in my computer room wolfing down the last hot dog.  That's proof that shes fine.  I had her back and she was healthy.  What a relief!  Shade had a big day yesterday  and  we didn't turn in until late last night.  I hugged her again and she laid on the pillow and fell asleep.
My best friend is safe, thank God!


A couple things to remember:  If your dog gets into rat poison - get him/her to throw up.  Administer hydrogen peroxide.  It will take affect instantly and the poison will be emitted with the vomit.


Antifreeze is another story.  The dog absolutely must be taken to the vet.  It is essential or you will definitely lose your dog.  Even if the dog vomits and appears well - the antifreeze will continue to destroy the animals liver until it's too late to do anything.  Antifreeze is a horrible chemical for a dog to ingest.


So, that's Shade's little bout with the grim reaper.  Dad was there for her as well as Jim and Paul.  She has good people who care about her.  Wonder if she will get to sleep in bed with dad tonight.  Bet she does.


02-13-12  This is an update on the Vet.  I've received three emails asking who I use.  I can say with my whole heart and  soul that the best Veterinary Service is Countryside Veterinary Service located at 2930 Little Dug Gap Road, Louisville, TN. 37777  (865) 983-3155.   Dr. Webb is my Doc and she's the absolute finest.  If this sounds like a commercial for them - so be it.  Dr. Webb saved my girl's life and they deserve the kudos.