Spring Has Sprung. . .

Here at Grand Lake in north east Oklahoma. This weekend, my mom and I made two different gardening runs to Lowe’s and Walmart. These result is I now have flowers on my deck, a new rhododendron in my flower bed and two new climbing roses along my fence. I’ve put together what may be my very favorite deck pot with Crystal Blue Salvia and Starry Night Violas as well as my very own, gorgeous Mandevilla. 



Puppies Chew EVERYTHING…

including stuff that can really hurt them. Case in point,  yesterday afternoon my dad calls over to my house to tell me that Gizmo,  my little male Yorkie/Shitzu mix is at his house, eating dry dog food like crazy and there was a bottle of my dads eye drops (used to treat glaucoma) chewed and Now empty laying on the floor. Also, Gizmo was starting to act a little wonky,  unsteady in his feet which progressed rapidly to lethargy.

At the same time, Gracie, my female Shihtzu mix, was at MY house chowing down on her dry food, which is a bit unusual for her.  I went over to dad’s to get Gizmo and found him fairly limp in my dad’s arms.  Grabbed the box for the eye drops and Gizmo and came back to my place to call the vet.

Now, I LOVE my vet and wouldn’t trade him for the world, but his first response was that there might be some stomach upset and some drooling but that they should be fine.  I reminded him that the medications for glaucoma were to help reduce the interocular pressure inside the eyeball and could possibly be some kind of a vasodilator, which could drop an animals blood pressure.  He hung up to do a bit of research and while I was waiting for a call back, I was listening to Gizmo’s heart with my stethescope.  Something just didn’t seem right to me and when the vet called back and said there was a specific warning for pet owners on this medication and he heard that Gizmo’s heart rate was 63 and that he was limp in my arms with his eyes rolling back in his head, he said bring him in immediately.

At this point, Gracie wasn’t showing any real symptoms, but I loaded her up as well and he headed off.  Luckily, even though I live out on the lake and 20-25 minutes from the nearest town, my vet is literally about 5-10 minutes away.  We got there and immediately went back.  Gizmo had perked up a bit during the drive but still wasn’t “himself.”  After a quick listen by the vet and a quick weigh in, Gizmo got a little shot of Atropine, which would increase his heart rate. (Turns out, for puppies the size of my 2, a heart rate in the 120s is normal).  Gizmo also got about 6ml of activated charcoal to help try and absorb what medication is could.

The vet listened to Gracie but said she sounded ok to him.  To me, she was a bit lethargic but I’m not the expert, so I let it go.  We discussed whether or not I should leave Gizmo overnight or take him home with me and we decided he could come home, but I was given a couple of extra doses of the Atropine in case his heart rate dropped again.

After paying a very reasonable bill, we headed home.  After we’d been home for about 15 minutes, Gracie started having coordination problems and had trouble standing.  I listened to her heart and while the rhythm was irregular, the rate was up in the 90s and even jumped into the 100s.  However, she too, got very limp and unresponsive at times.  (I’d made a call to the vet and got instructions to give her a dose of the atropine if her heart rate dropped below 70).

We spent a tense evening laying on the couch together with me listening to both puppies hearts every 30 minutes or so.  Gracie’s never got low enough to give the atropine and Gizmo stayed fairly steady.  About 4 hours after the initial vet visit (so about 8:30pm), both puppies decided they were hungry.  They ate ravenously, which kind of alerted me that we could be in for some issues and sure enough, Gracie ended up gakking up much of what she’d eaten fairly quickly.  Gizmo, at least, waited until we went outside to do his gakking.  I couldn’t get either pup to do any pooping, although both did pee once each.

I fell asleep on the couch with both puppies very near at hand.  When I woke up at 5 am I discovered that during the night, they HAD pooped, but in about 4 places in my house (again, thank GOD for no carpets) and had peed on the training pads.  Plus, one or both of them puked what looked like 2 stomachs full of YUCK into their bed (I believe THAT bed is now bound for the trash instead of the washing machine).  After another visit outside, where they did looked around like they’d never seen the outside before, we all crawled into MY bed and slept for another 4 hours.

They seem to be doing ok today with the only real residual effect being some fatigue (they are usually extremely rambunctious in their play together).  Gizmo seems to have bounced back a bit quicker than Gracie, which makes me really wish I had had the vet give her a dose of the activated charcoal yesterday, just as a precaution.

So, here’s my warning to other pet owners, the opthalmic eye drops – BRIMONIDINE TARTRATE or Alphagan, can have serious side effects if ingested by your pets.  ANY eye medication that treats some kind of disease process can be dangerous, so PLEASE keep them out of reach.  My two just happened to find this med on the table by my dad’s chair and started chewing on the box.  the bottle itself must have slipped out of the box and they started chewing that as well.  There were no obvious holes in the bottle to look at but when you squeezed it, with the lid on, the bottle collapsed, which meant there were puppy teeth sized holes in the bottle.

Very thankful they seem to be ok today.  They are the light of my life and I can’t imagine losing them.

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