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Marissa Lingen

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Dog story that didn't crosspost [Dec. 24th, 2013|07:03 am]
Marissa Lingen

When lj was messed up yesterday, this didn't crosspost from my blog. So:

So yesterday afternoon Ista was worrying at her right front leg, and when we looked at it, we saw that she had scraped it on something in the back yard severely enough that there was a triangular flap of skin torn back. And she was not leaving it alone. Not a source of great worry, but also not something that could just be left. So Mark and I bundled ourselves into the car and went off to the emergency vet with her.

People. The emergency vet is not where you want to be late in the afternoon the Sunday before Christmas. I mean, really, the emergency vet is no fun in general. No one is there to get routine shots for their perfectly healthy puppy. The general take-home lesson of the emergency vet the Sunday before Christmas is: for the love of Pete keep your dog away from the chocolate. The place was quite full, mostly with dogs who had eaten lots of chocolate when their humans were out shoveling or otherwise occupied.

We waited for an hour and a half before we got into a room. In that time, we saw a family–mother and dad and little girl–whose dog did not make it. That was pretty horrible. Anyway, they got us roomed, and another half-hour later, Mark and I got sent off to get dinner while they waited for a chance to sew her up. No general needed, just a local. But we called to make sure that they were done, and sure enough, they weren’t, so…all in all, Ista spent four hours at the vet yesterday, Mark and I about two and a half.

It’s amazing how people who can talk for hours under other circumstances have a much, much harder time of it in a vet ER with a stressed and injured dog.

Ista’s bandage is off, though the sutures will stay in 10-14 days. She is worrying at them, so we have her in the cone of shame. Oh the displeased poodle. Oh the injured dignity. She’s already managed to get it off twice, so when we don’t have another focus I think we’re going to have to try to sit with her and get her used to the sutures and not licking/biting them, because the cone is not seeming like it’s going to work as a sole solution to this problem.

So. Not the blog post I’d intended to make–stay tuned for character expectations and competences–and not the Sunday evening I’d intended to have, but we’re all fine. Even if one of us is also pretty annoyed with the cone.

Update from later: she got the cone off some more, again, so we got her a soft protective collar that looks like a travel pillow for one's neck, and she doesn't love it, but she's willing to keep it on and do things while wearing it. Win.

[User Picture]From: txanne
2013-12-24 01:52 pm (UTC)
How awful. I'm glad Ista is okay.

And I'm reminded of the time Samantha decided that she didn't like the soft collar of shame, at all, and so she buried it in her litterbox.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-12-24 01:59 pm (UTC)
Errm. Well, I hope that Ista decides to leave the soft collar be, because it makes us all more comfortable about whether she's leaving her leg sufficiently alone, and seriously, the plastic cone was just not something she would leave on unless watched like a hawk, which kind of defeated the purpose.

She pranced with such delight and pride when we came in the door from dinner last night: Hello monkeys! Do not worry, monkeys! Ista has fixed it! Hello! I feel much better now! (SIGH.)
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[User Picture]From: miz_hatbox
2013-12-25 05:52 pm (UTC)
Tree-puppy is often deeply disappointed to find that what she thinks needs fixing does not match the People's opinions on the subject.
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-12-26 04:27 am (UTC)
Seriously. Seriously.
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[User Picture]From: buymeaclue
2013-12-24 01:59 pm (UTC)
I am so glad that e-vets exist and so sorry that they have to. I'm glad Ista will be okay.
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[User Picture]From: sartorias
2013-12-24 02:24 pm (UTC)
Oh, poor little thing.
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From: sheff_dogs
2013-12-24 03:27 pm (UTC)
Probably a bit late for now, but baby or children's clothes, especially onsies can be very effective at making wounds impossible to get to. Or so I am told, I have Shepherds who are pretty good about leaving wounds alone, but if they cant't wear the cone of shame with a combination of resignation and disgust that I wish I could reproduce!
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[User Picture]From: laurel
2013-12-24 04:48 pm (UTC)
Poor Ista. The indignity and the hurt and aw.

I'm always surprised how many people don't know pets shouldn't have chocolate. (And why would you give any animal chocolate in the first place?)

Just the other day, I watched this clip of Louis C.K. on Conan explaining how he saved his dog after they ingested chocolate. I may disagree with him on the intelligence level of dogs and how well they can learn, but . . . it's pretty funny (since one knows the dog was fine).
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[User Picture]From: mrissa
2013-12-24 04:57 pm (UTC)
Oh, these people knew. In one of the cases, the woman had put the tray of treats at the very back of the kitchen cabinet to cool before she went out shoveling, and then came in to find that the dog had gotten all the way up on the cabinet to eat the whole tray. I really cannot fault her for that, because I would have thought "out of immediate sight or reasonable reach" would be quite enough too.
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[User Picture]From: reveritas
2013-12-24 05:35 pm (UTC)
Oh Ista-bean!

My mom was at the e-vet last night with her Liesl (who had died in the house an hour before; weird story, and I'll post about it later) and said the same thing -- there were huge numbers of dogs who'd eaten chocolate!
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[User Picture]From: miz_hatbox
2013-12-24 06:52 pm (UTC)
Oh no, Ista! Feel better soon!

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From: athenais
2013-12-24 10:48 pm (UTC)
Gracious. We have had numerous dogs over the years; none of them have ever gotten at the chocolate. That is sad. I'm glad Ista is sewn up and recovering. Emergency rooms of any kind are always so dire and take so long. It's funny how you run out of conversation.
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[User Picture]From: fidelioscabinet
2013-12-25 12:19 am (UTC)
Poor Ista! Poor you! Poor Mark!
I'm glad it's no worse!

Also, let me note here that if the dog has eaten the chocolate recently, you may be able to induce vomiting by administering hydrogen peroxide. PetMD has details on how to do it, & when not to try this. I'm sure there are other places online as well. I mention this just in case it sticks with someone who needs to know. </p>

A friend's dachshund managed to shove a chair across the dining room, use it to climb onto the table, and devour a full bag of Hershey's Kisses. Luckily the foil was irritating enough that he didn't keep them down long.

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[User Picture]From: rushthatspeaks
2013-12-25 01:44 am (UTC)
I am glad Ista is doing as well as possible!

Dogs and chocolate, man. The worst scare we ever had with my Great Pyrenees, Mac, was when he decided to eat an entire bag of chocolate chips. Fortunately, by entire bag I mean entire bag, unopened, and his teeth did not puncture it on the way down. So we got to sit at the vet's for a day waiting to see if his stomach acids would eat through the plastic and release the chocolate into his system.

They did not.

A one-pound unopened bag of chocolate chips can go entirely through a hundred-and-fifty-pound dog without, apparently, causing him any distress whatsoever. The distress was entirely on the part of everybody else, as we could all have cheerfully gone our whole lives without having to learn this fact.
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[User Picture]From: boxofdelights
2013-12-25 07:51 am (UTC)
Wow! How could they tell that he hadn't punctured the bag before swallowing it?
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[User Picture]From: rushthatspeaks
2013-12-27 06:16 am (UTC)
I cannot remember at this late date whether it was an MRI or just a good old-fashioned X-ray, but they took a picture and determined that it appeared unpunctured. We would not have known to take him to the vet if my mother hadn't come into the kitchen in time to see him do the toss-and-gulp thing with the bag. He clearly hadn't chewed it going down, so the question was whether he'd perforated it in the toss. They were not one hundred percent certain it was okay, of course, because there could be a very small hole they couldn't see plus the unknown effect of acids, but it looked okay in the scan and he wasn't showing chocolate poisoning symptoms, so they went for close observation by a surgical team instead of opening him up right away. Which I am glad of, really, as that would have been major abdominal surgery, and he was over ten at the time, though frisky as anything. (That year he also jumped our back fence, which was taller than I am.)

I would have hated to be on that observation team, now that I think about it. He was a big enough dog that even a massive quantity of chocolate might not have actually killed him, but 'very very poisoned' is not the ideal condition for surgical intervention. Still, it was their call.

We had to change our counter-storage protocols again after that. We'd known he could reach anything on the counters, but had been relying on his sense of what was food and what was non-food. After that, anything which could remotely be considered edible only lived on the counter if it lived in airtight metal tins. The top of the fridge was covered with everything which traditionally lives on counters. This was aggravating until we had a friend with a Great Dane come over and tell us how lucky we were that the dog couldn't reach the top of the fridge...
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From: diatryma
2013-12-27 05:28 am (UTC)
Oh my goodness. Oh my goodness. That story. I am so in love with it.
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