I am writing this article just moments after admitting both of my dogs to the Tucson Emergency Vet Clinic. I am visiting my brother and just found that one or both of my dogs ate a whole bottle of doggy pain killers – the chewable kind that taste so yummy. Both of them appear perfectly normal even though I know one of them ate the pills about 10 hours ago. But I also know that this medication causes delayed effects on the kidneys and early intervention is life saving. Waiting to see if they get sick would almost guarantee permanent and likely fatal kidney failure. As I was driving to Arizona a few days ago, one of my friends called to say that one of her dogs had chewed on a box of rat poison. She was pretty sure that no poison was ingested and the dog was feeling fine. She went straight to the emergency clinic and they made the dog vomit – there was no sign of poison in the vomit. I still had her do follow-up lab work to be sure there were no delayed effects.

I tell you these stories for two reasons. First – always be aware that dogs (and cats) eat the darndest things. Chewable medications are particularly likely to be overdosed! Second – never base your pet ™s need for veterinary care on how he or she seems to feel. Many toxins take several days to cause problems and waiting can be a death sentence. If you think your pet may have eaten something toxic, seek care immediately!

Everyone at Animal Care Clinic wishes you all a Happy New Year – be sure to kiss your pets at midnight Monday!

by Bonnie Markoff, DVM, ABVP