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Our baby Boxer boy delights in stealing things like avocados, bananas, socks, bras and tennis shoes despite the fact he has numerous toys, bones and balls. Usually I see him, head held high in delight, runaway with these items and thus I retrieve them quickly. However yesterday, he got what his puppy eyes spied as a new "goodie" but one that turned out to cause him, and us, much distress. Here is what happened.
On Tuesday evening, after our family walk in the park, I placed my wallet and asthma inhaler in the center of our large dining room table on the decorative runner. On Wednesday morning I was working in my office when I heard a whoosh and saw Star come running as she usually does when Ace gets into something he should not. (Yes, she tattles on him, thank goodness.) Ace had slid the table runner down and snagged my inhaler. He took it to the living room where he punctured the canister and expelled the medicine into his face and mouth. The whites of his eyes turned blood red and he began shaking. I rushed him to **** Veterinary Hospital and Dr. ****. The vet found Ace's heart rate had soared to 183 beats per minute (bpm) whereas a normal canine heart rate is about 100 or lower depending on the individual. Dr. **** phoned the ASPCA animal poison hotline and their instructions necessitated Ace's admission to **** Veterinary Specialists which is a critical care facility that also offers 24 hour emergency service whereby he would be monitored throughout the night. Upon arrival the vet quickly started an IV and the medication Propanolol to bring down his heart rate. Kent and I were asked to go home and wait for news. Late that afternoon the vet phoned to say that Ace had improved but his heart bpm still fluctuated between 140 and 160. A heart beating this rapidly does not fill properly with blood so it is a very serious medical situation. Our big sweet boy was put on heart and respiratory watch all night.
Although we diligently puppy proofed our home we now realize that we have to be even more cognizant of our most benign actions. Ace is much different than our little Boxer girl Star. Growing up she never got into or tore up anything. She was a perfect little lady puppy. Ace, however, is all boy - curious, confident, boisterous and very oral - everything goes into his mouth. Not to mention that he is big (71 lbs.) and tall. He uses those Boxer paws to reach "goodies" on counters, tops of bookcases, dining room tables, etc. He often inspects Kent's briefcase for water bottles or apples. I was considering, in honor of his one year birthday tomorrow, trusting him in the house and out of his crate when we are not home. Well, that is not going to happen for some time. The command "off" combined with lots of praise is going to be a key word in our household going forward.
Dr. ****, the critical care vet who first treated Ace at the hospital told us that Albuterol toxicity is a fairly common occurrence with pets. It comes with the increase of respiratory disease in humans and the need to have these inhalers on hand. One never thinks that an inhaler would be such an attractive draw as a plaything or so potentially deadly. I have attached a link to an article on Albuterol toxicity and treatment from the ASPCA website. Please email this link to your friends who have companion animals. Sharing knowledge and experience helps keep other "fur kids" safe.
At 6:00 p.m. yesterday we went back to the hospital to take Ace his dinner, his blanket and stuffed turtle pillow. We gave him lots of hugs, kisses and took him for a walk. Those of you who know how dedicated we are to excellent nutrition will get a chuckle out of this next sentence. The vet suggested they feed him Iams or Science Diet. I declined, firmly but graciously. Before we departed that evening we learned his heart rate remained between 140 and 160 bpm.
It was so difficult having one of our "kids" ill and away from home. Linda stayed up after midnight to call one more time to check Ace's progress before going to bed and we were up early this morning anxious for news that he could come home. And he did. We picked him up at 9:30 this morning. His heart rate has stabilized at 110 which is normal for a big excitable Boxer puppy. We are all exhausted but thankful that our family is whole and well again.
All our best,
****, ****, Star and Ace
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- Joined: Sun Jan 02, 2005 1:00 pm
This is great information and I will be sure to pass it along to all my people with pets.
It also reminded me of the time when Bogey (my miracle dog) got hold of my key ring, that happened to have a canister of mace on it....she bit into it and maced herself but good. Poor dog was a nervous wreck for 3 days.
Bullet's trial was a farce. Can I get an AMEN?????
We won't be punished for our sins, but BY them.
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- Joined: Fri Jan 07, 2005 8:26 am
Smile people :yh_bigsmi
yep, this bitch bites back .
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â€• Mae West