rat poison - noooo!!!

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I am still really tired from the events over the last few days so I hope this post makes sense as its an important one!

We've always been very careful about not having the pups any where near anything dangerous they could consume. But unfortunately on Sunday while we were out celebrating Lunar New Year Hampton was exposed to rat poison. One of our worst nightmares!

It happened while we were coming back from a walk. I saw Hampton reach for something and at first I thought it was plant fertilizer. He was on a his lead so I immediately pulled him back and checked his mouth. I didn't find anything but wasn't 100% sure that he didn't get any of it. When we found out it was actually rat poison the panic really started to set in. We spent the next 30 minutes trying to get him to vomit. We gave him a tsp of salt...nothing happened. 15 min later we gave him another tsp of salt, that didn't work. We didn't want to waste anymore time so we decided to take him for a drive. Hampton gets really car sick and yup, within a few minutes it all came out. The car sickness is something we've been trying to help him with and this was the only time we were grateful he vomited in the car.

We ended up taking him to the emerg vet clinic as a follow-up. They ran blood tests and checked that the salt didn't do any damage as well. All the results came out positively (big sigh of relief). We didn't get home until about 3am as there was a wait at the clinic (even animals have a long wait in emerg!).

When we got home we gave him a dose of charcoal as directed by the emerg clinic. A few hours later we were up to give him the 2nd and final dose. Luckily, Hampton being a true beagle, just gobbled it all up. We didn't have to do any tricks or give him anything extra to encourage him. If it were ZuZu or Starbuck, there's no way they would go near it without extreme coaxing.

I do admit all of this reminded me of when Starbuck first got sick. They initially thought Starbuck had rat posioing b/c he was exhibiting almost the same symptoms. But I've pushed those thoughts of anxiety away and replaced them with positive ones.

Our vet came by today to take the 2nd blood test and we just got the results. Although they are normal, they are in the high range of normal. I'm not sure what that means exactly but she is going to let us know tomorrow if another test needs to be taken. So we are almost out of the woods!

Hampton is doing great. He is his usual curious, playful self and not exhibiting any symptoms. He's milked his time of being sick by cuddling up with ZuZu (see her post their My Puppy Diary blog).

So a few tips and lessons learned from all this:

1. Always ask whomever you are visiting with about any potential dangerous substances. Especially ask those who don't have dogs as they won't be as aware of what could be dangerous.

Also check with your neighbors about whether they use rat poisoning. Because rat poison can last in the system for up to 3 days without showing any symptoms the rodent could end up bringing the poison into your yard.

2. You can use salt to induce vomiting - 2 tsp max. Salt is generally bad for dogs. I don't use salt in any of my baking and check that its not an ingredient in whatever food or treats we give them. It can cause dehydration, allergies and too much of it can cause major problems like brain damage.

3. Its better to be safe than sorry. Go to the emerg clinic or get your dog to your vet right away even if (s)he has vomited after being exposed to a dangerous substance. Its always best to check than to regret it later

That's all for now. I'm getting really tired and need to sleep. I just wanted to give you an update as its been a few days and I'll be sure to give another when he's 100% in the clear. :)

Nite nite!
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