Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Send Chocolate Now but not to my dog

Today found me, at 5:30 in the morning, lying sleepless, waiting for my dog to die. I listened to her breathe, and prayed it wasn't Parvo. For those who don't know, Parvo is an extremely serious disease in puppies. Attacking the digestive system, it causes bloody diarrhea and vomiting. It hits hard, it hits fast, and it has about a 70% survival rate. Puppies that are unvaccinated mostly die. Puppies that are vaccinated can still get it; Poppy is finished with her vaccinations. There is no cure, once the dog develops the disease. Hospitalization, I.V. hydration and antibiotics are about all that can be done. Then nature takes its course.

I remember when I was a kid, my brother had an amazing boxer puppy my dad brought home from a friend. The pup was about 5 months old, and developed parvo. It was horrific. He couldn't stand, he was shaking, bloody poop and vomiting a foul brown liquid. He was gone within 12 hours. So, with Parvo, time is of the essence, and I was panicked, waiting for the vet to open. I didn't want to overreact, but I was concerned. Earlier in the night, Poppy had very loose poops. On the kitchen floor. Then, the pup who has been sleeping through the night woke up twice, once at 3:30 a.m. to poop and again at 5:30 a.m. She didn't make it outside that time, she just couldn't hold it. Lethargic and not very hungry, she just laid on the floor.

At one point, she was sleeping so soundly that she didn't look like she was alive. I revisited that moment of horror I used to feel when I brought my newborn home for the first time, would wake up and think, in a blind panic, "The baby is not breathing!" Crib death was a huge fear for me. The fact that I had a friend with a newborn who died of S.I.D.S. made the possibility even more real to me. But, of course, they baby was always breathing, it was just hard to tell sometimes.

Enter today. I called my puppy's name, and she didn't respond. I fought nausea and panic, and shook her, and she slowly raised her head, looking at me blearily.

I called the vet, as soon as they were open, and we headed down there. It's a bit of a trip from here, but at that point, Poppy had perked up a bit, and I wasn't quite as worried. The vet did a test for parvo, for gardia (a parasite) and for cocchia. She was negative for parvo, and for gardia. Still waiting to hear about cocchia. In the meantime, we are resting her digestive system and she isn't happy with me, because she isn't able to eat. I gave her some of the broad-spectrum antibiotic that the vet gave us for her, and she seems to be doing a lot better.

I questioned what caused her stomach upset: new foods, a trip to the dog park, stress.

The mystery was solved when JBear found a small, finger-sized bag of mini m&m's that were mostly gone. Aha! Chocolate is anathema to dogs. It is toxic, due to the theobromine in it. They can get very sick, and even die from getting into chocolate. And I had been soooo careful, but we think she found this bag wedged in between the cushions of the chair. We have no idea when she would have eaten it, because she is watched constantly. But eat it, she did.

While I recognize that I probably seemed like a paranoid first time mama, I am still glad I took her in. Absolutely better safe than sorry when it comes to puppies. She is feeling better, still a bit droopy. And.. $250 later, that was one expensive bag of m&m's.

And how was your day?

T, who has all chocolate up high on a shelf

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9 sent chocolate:

Brenda said...

Poor lil' puppy. Hope he's feeling better very, very soon! What a night!

Kim Thompson said...

This happened to my best friend's dog. He somehow managed his way into a cabinet and ate baking chocolate. A lot of it. He was very ill but she had him to the vet within the hour so all is well. Very, very frightening though. I am glad your pooch (and you!) are on the mend.

Spot said...

Poor puppy! Poor mommy! I have spent nights sleeping on the floor next to sick pets. And I worked in a vets office. Parvo is horrible. As are heartworms.

You are a good mommy for taking her to the vet. You're right, better safe than sorry.


Tony Letts said...

I'm so pleased it worked out Tina :)

Tina@ SendChocolateNow said...

Brenda: Thanks, she is back to herself again.

Kim: I don't even keep baking chocolate in the house, for that reason. But I do love dark chocolate...we keep it on the highest shelf and it requires standing on a chair to get it.

Spot: Once you see parvo, you don't forget it. Panleukopenia is the same way..I had a cat who died of that, sick when I adopted him. I was very sad.

Tony: Thanks, my friend.

Gregg Gallagher said...

Had a friend who's dog got into a visitor's suitcase and ate his "special" chocolate brownie. Rushed him to the vet to have stomach pumped and all was OK....

JoAnn's Daughter said...

Thank goodness it wasn't parvo! Dogs and, why do the insist on eating that stuff that is poison to them???? So glad Poppy is on the mend.

Janet Isserlis said...

yikes. so, stumbling towards recovery. what a welcome relief, a good result, a glad outcome. happy for you. hope puppy's feeling better ASAP

Andrea said...

I like to laugh but I feel pity for the dog. I only knew that chocolates are not good for dogs after reading your blog. hhmm, thanks for posting this one.Looking forward to know more information from you!..

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