it's a fuzzy fuzzy world…

posts from the heartland, about dogs, cats, fire departments, and gaming

Nick, Debbie and Pete

A most expensive box of Raisin Bran

I was working from home on Monday, and along about mid-morning I realized that I hadn’t been to Rickers yet for my morning Diet Mt Dew fix. So I hopped in the car, went to the store, spun a Pokestop, caught a couple of Orna monsters and went home. Total time out of the house? Maybe 20 minutes.

All seemed normal when I got home, ’til I spotted a Campbell’s soup can in the floor in the dining room. Someone Who Shall Remain Nameless had clearly been counter surfing. The can was unpunctured, so I put it back in the kitchen with the rest of the groceries that needed to be put away, and proceeded into the living room.

There, in the middle of the floor, was a Raisin Bran box. Across the room was Nicky, looking awfully proud of himself. The box was empty. No sign of actual cereal or the wax-paper bag that had been in the box. Kept looking. Oh, hey, there’s the bag… tucked under the edge of a kitchen cabinet in a dark corner. No wonder I didn’t see it sooner. No sign of cereal… clearly the Cereal Killer (my friend Brandy dubbed him that) had been thorough.

“But wait!” says my brain… “Aren’t raisins toxic to dogs??”

Ruh roh… So off I went, down the rabbithole of web searches, where at least the articles about canine maladies are somewhat less fear-inducing than sites like WebMD (no, really, it’s cereal, not cancer). My fears were confirmed, though… yes, grapes and raisins are toxic to dogs but (and here’s where it gets fun) nobody really knows what is actually toxic about raisins or why some dogs react and others don’t. But the reaction, if it happens, is acute kidney failure… sometimes fatal.

So I called the local emergency vet… “Hey… Nicky just ate about a third of a box of Raisin Bran. What should I do?” Conversation ensued and the end result was that Nicky and I hopped in the car and headed to Northwood so they could induce vomiting. After a bit, Dr. Mejeur came out to talk to me. Good news was that Nicky was showing no signs of distress. He was also steadfastly refusing to barf, even after a dose of apomorphine. Dr. Mejeur explained that because nobody really knows which dogs will react to raisins or why, and because the potential amount ingested (did you know people have actually studied how many raisins are in a box of Raisin Bran??) was enough to potentially trigger a reaction, the gold standard of care was 48 hours of high-volume IV fluids in order to flush the potential toxins out of his system and also to encourage kidney function.

I agreed to leave him, and one of the techs came and talked me through the estimate so I could be prepared for that side of things (ouch), and then they brought Nick to an exam room so I could snuggle with him for a few minutes. The apomorphine had clearly hit him like a ton of bricks and he was sooooooo sleepy. He was snuggly, but leaning on me with his head in my hands. Awwwww…

At that point, I headed home to get some work done, and they took Nick back to get him hooked up to his IV. I called later in the afternoon and the report was that he was doing well… hanging out calmly in his cage, being fascinated by the comings and goings of the staff.

I called again yesterday morning, and the news was still good… no symptoms. Peeing and pooping a lot (because IV fluids and a bunch of bran will do that to you!) and still just chillin’ in his cage. I asked if I could come see him, and they said absolutely, so I made plans to do that as soon as my morning conference calls were finished.

This time, I remembered to get pictures! He was happy to see me, bouncy and active and clearly unaware that he was “supposed” to be sick.

Well of course I played fetch with him! Doesn’t everybody go to visit their hospitalized dogs carrying a toy and a bag of treats??

Dr. Mejeur came in to chat with us for a few minutes, and commented that “Somebody seems to have missed the memo” that he was supposed to be feeling ill effects of his raisin ingestion. His bloodwork was still looking good… kidney values were right where they needed to be. In essence, he was doing great! The plan was to take him off the IV fluids at midnight last night, recheck kidney values mid- to late-morning, and then hopefully I could bring him home. I handed the leash off to Dr. Mejeur and Nicky happily trotted back to the back with him, wagging his tail and looking perfectly happy to be there. That made it a little easier to leave him there again, seeing that he was clearly not stressed by the strange environment.

Fast forward to this morning, when I called and the bloodwork machine was on the fritz! Eek!! LOL! The vet assured me that he’d give me a call as soon as they had the results, now that he’d been off the IV fluids for almost 12 hours. Not long after, the phone rang with the good news. Bloodwork looked great and Nicky could come home! So I headed back over to Northwood, ransomed Raisin Bran Boy, and we headed off to Rally’s for a burger (for me) and french fries (for both of us).

So, after an eventful couple of days, my boy is home again, happily hogging the sofa and doing lots of napping. Apparently being in the hospital was hard work, even though he didn’t seem stressed about it.

The moral of this story… don’t leave the Raisin Bran where a dog can reach it!

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