Monday, April 21, 2008

Poison...James 3:8

Last evening the Dog stood at the back slider. That was a bit odd since he usually hangs out on the front porch, but we let him inside. He promptly tripped over a cord and headed for his crate. J commented that he looked odd standing in his crate. The Man thought he was walking funny. M headed outside to put the chickens in their coop about 8:30. The Dog wouldn't budge from his crate. That's when we were sure something was wrong, because the Dog basically lives for going with M to care for the chickens.

The Man looked him over and decided that he was showing some of the same symptoms he had a few years ago when the vet diagnosed Strychnine poisoning. The Man called the vet (out of town, please call animal hospital in next state), another vet (nope, won't even look at a dog, only large animals), and the people hospital. In this instance it was a case of what you know AND who you know. It took a few hours to work out the logistics, but by 10:30 The Man was back home with the necessary drugs. It wasn't a moment too soon, for when The Man walked in the front door the Dog bolted out of his crate and had a seizure. I was beginning to wonder if it was really Strychnine again since he hadn't had any seizures, but that erased all doubt.

We dragged the Dog out to the utility room, laid him down on some towels, and got started. M held his back legs while I held his head. The Man tried to find a vein, but his vet skills could use a bit of work. He ended up giving the meds* in muscle, and within five minutes the Dog was completely relaxed. M took him outside on the leash so the Dog could relieve himself** while we moved the Dog's crate to the utility room. We put up a gate so he could spend the night out there.

The Man got up a few times during the night to check on him, and he seems to be ok. I wanted to take him to the vet today to have him looked over since he is due for a rabies shot anyway, but the office said we should wait a few weeks for the rabies if it was Strychnine. We will just keep a close eye on him the next few days.

We do know which neighbor uses the Strychnine. The ground squirrels, etc. are eating it and coming onto our property where they are coming into contact with the Dog (ok, so the Dog is coming into contact with them). We're still trying to figure out how to nicely deal with the neighbor.

The Dog better be grateful for what lengths The Man was willing to go to for him, especially after what the Dog did to The Man's pickup Saturday afternoon. A squirrel decided to hide out in the engine compartment and the Dog tried to retrieve it. Most of the wiring has been repaired, and it is drivable, although The Man said the ABS on one of the wheels isn't currently functional. Bad Dog!

* Since the purpose of this blog is not to dispense veterinary advice, but I know some people will end up here through a search engine while in the same predicament we were in last night, here are the links to the drugs and dosage recommendations we used.
Link #1
Link #2

**When this happened a few years ago, we didn't know what was wrong until The Man got him to the vet. Since he was hot and panting, we had given him a lot of water in the hours until the vet called us back. We didn't realize that he couldn't relieve himself until the vet gave him the meds and he immediately relieved himself right there on the vet's table. This time we were prepared with all the towels, but he obviously hadn't had as much water and was able to wait until he got outside. Good Dog!


mydogsrule said...

It sounds like your neighbor needs a more creative way of dealing with the squirrels, like boys with bb guns. I'll gladly send mine if it will prevent your pooch from getting poisoned again!

-- Esther

Rachael said...

Yikes. I would have had no idea what to do. Glad The Dog is okay. What heroics!

Ann said...

I'm glad your dog is doing better, what a scary experience!

Lori said...

Lucky dog to have such smart owners.
How did the man get Valium? Doesn't each vial have to be accounted for? I guess you sort of answered the question with the "it's who you know", but it still seems like it be hard to get even if you know the right people.

The Dog's Friend said...

Poor Dog. He is such a good Dog. I asked if they wanted me to bring him home so he wouldn't get poisoned, but... I understand there is a young lady vet at the church to the south where The Man's brother attends. Maybe you can get that # in case of future such events.

Anonymous said...


The drugs are accounted for, the hospital sold them to me for "office use", and I used them to help a "patient".

As for the veins, I actually was able to get a vein but the dog was shaking/seizing so much I couldn't push the drug and keep the needle in the vein. It might have been easier to start an iv to use, but I didn't have a catheter, since I wasn't planning to start an iv for the dog to chew on.

The Man