I was sorting out dinner in the kitchen when I heard an odd noise in the front room — a suspicious dog-related noise. When I walked in I could see a foil wrapper on the floor.
It was from a muesli bar that was supposed to be in my bag — the Tom Bihn Ristretto bag I’d left on the floor by my chair, with the clasp closed.
Actually there were 2 muesli bars in my bag, inside a small plastic lunch bag with a couple of teabags and a single strip of Nurofen pain killer tablets. Once upon a time … Now all these things were strewn around the lounge, muesli bars gone along with an unknown but small number of the Nurofen.
I recovered one entire Nurofen, while 3 more were still in the foil. I knew I’d used at least 2 myself, maybe 4 or 6. But since there were ‘crumbs’ of at least one tab lying around I knew one or both dogs had eaten at least one.
I actually discounted Sasha. By the positions of the muesli bar wrappers and the dogs I suspected Sasha had eaten one of them. I doubted she’d eaten a Nurofen though.
Oshi, however, is always breaking into bags and other places and stealing things, many of which he eats. Doubtless he’d chewed up at least one Nurofen, maybe 2 or 3.
I cleared away the mess, and a few minutes later started to wonder if Nurofen might be poisonous for dogs. I quickly sent out a tweet asking if anyone knew.
Bruce came back with a response in moments:
Less than one regular strength ibuprofen (200mg) could cause stomach ulcers in a 10lb dog, and about six could cause kidney failure.
That sent me off to ring the emergency vet. Since it was almost 6pm on Easter Friday our usual vet would be closed. The receptionist checked with the vet who advised making Oshi vomit. They asked if we had Washing Soda. We don’t, and even so, I likely wouldn’t have been able to get Oshi to take it.
I bundled the dogs into the car, after carrying Oshi up the path. He was quite capable of walking, but I was after haste, not his usual dawdling.
The vet nurse quickly ushered us into a back room and then managed to get a rather large washing soda crystal down Oshi’s throat, in spite of his rather massive wriggling.
Being quite a good boy really, he instantly produced 3 fairly substantial piles of vomit. Muesli bar was evident, a few tiny bits of foil, and the biscuits he had for dinner. Any tablets he’d swallowed had already dissolved.
After some discussion with the vet, the nurse then managed to push 14 charcoal tablets down Mr Wriggles throat, along with some squirts of water to help them down.
The vet advised me to watch Oshi for bloody vomit, diarrhoea, lethargy or otherwise seeming ‘unwell’.
$140 later we were on our way home.
The little guys tend to just sleep in the evenings anyway, so it’s hard to tell if they’re lethargic. They do seem OK though.
We know Oshi will steal and eat anything and everything and tend to keep bags and the like out of his way most of the time. This was a rather harsh reminder of how important it is to always keep pharmaceuticals out of his reach — even locked away in a bag isn’t enough.
And the trouble with tiny dog brains is that the long gap between the delight of eating yummy pills and the unpleasantness of eating washing soda means Oshi’s not likely to connect the two. I bet he connects the unpleasantness with the car or the vet or me or something, and will be back to eating pills, chocolates, poisonous stuff the first chance he gets.
I just hope this turns out to be our only trip to the vet for this reason.