On many different occasions I have written about the seemingly random items around the home that can be dangerous or even deadly to our four legged friends. We have how pets can get in trouble around the dinner table and kitchen, especially during the holidays and how various holiday decorations or traditions might lead to problems or even a trip to the animal emergency room. This story, however, has more of a personal flare as I just experienced the panic that goes along with learning your pet has eaten something that could seriously affect their health.
As you know, I have three English Mastiffs: #OrionIndy, #NikeVictoria, and #AndromedaEleven (Andi). Most of the time, other than stepping on your feet, drooling on your pant leg, or knocking over furniture, these guys are pretty laid back and don't seem to find trouble very often. Unfortunately, my wife and I found out just how quickly trouble could find these three.
This is #OrionIndy, 179 lbs of love and slobber. He is
extremely treat motivated and most of the time, that works to our advantage. Sadly, loving treats as much as he does, he likely instigated this whole chain of events. Long story short, while left out of his crate for less than 10 minutes with no supervision, #OrionIndy decided to put his front paws onto a metal desk and find a pill vial with #NikeVictoria's pain medication (Carprofen). All in all, we think there were about 30 100 mg chewable tablets in the pill vial, which was in many shattered pieces when my wife found the crime. To those of you shaking your head at me and asking why would we leave medications at what is essentially "eye-level" for this giant breed...know that I hear you and am quite literally kicking myself for the carelessness of leaving this drug so close to that huge head!
Now, we don't know who ate the pills -- there was no sign at all of any medication on the floor or in his crate, but past behavior leads us to believe that #OrionIndy likely got the lion's share with #AndiEleven and #NikeVictoria getting crumbs. So, #OrionIndy was rushed to the ER where we gave him a medication to make him vomit. Since we don't know who got what amounts of the medication, all three of these goof-balls will be getting medication designed to protect their GI tract until the pain medication can clear their system.
I have two points for this blog today, the first being that pain relieving medications for pets (commonly referred to as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory medications, NSAIDs) are one of the most common reasons for a pet owner to call Pet Poison Helpline or the ASPCA's Pet Poison Control. Cases like these should be treated with urgency for the best outcome, so don't wait to call your veterinarian or the nearest animal emergency hospital. NSAIDs, like carprofen, deracoxib, meloxicam, and others can cause significant vomiting or diarrhea, renal damage, or even liver problems when too much is dosed at one time. And, most importantly, NEVER GIVE YOUR PETS HUMAN PAIN MEDICATIONS UNLESS DIRECTED BY YOUR VETERINARIAN!! Thankfully, it appears that our three are doing fine at this point in time, but they will be on three different medicines, two to three times daily for the next week. The second point is simply this: We all get caught up with life, work and all of our other responsibilities every day and the holidays seem to just inflate the number of things we need to accomplish each day. But, do take some time to look around your home and try to see it from your pet's point of view. Quite literally, get down on all fours and see what your pets see...what dangers are lurking at their level? With the holidays happening, your pets may have more opportunity to find trouble and none of us want to think about spending any part of the holidays waiting at the animal ER!