Friday, November 20, 2009

Flashback Friday: Jager's Accidental Overdose

I've managed to let the past two Fridays slip by with nary a Flashback, and I just couldn't let it happen again! So, here is another Jager story for you.  As you may remember, Jager finds just about everything edible.  Her credits include chapstick, an unused pregnancy test, clorox wipes, and 20 PB&J sandwiches.  However, her most infamous - not to mention most dangerous and expensive - incident occurred two years ago on this, the Friday before Thanksgiving. 

On that Friday, Jason and I had gone out to dinner after work.  We arrived home to pools of dog vomit all over the hallway and living room.  It was like a crime scene unfolding before our eyes.  With each step we saw another, and another pool of vomit.   We quickly realized that she had gotten into something, so we began scouring the house for evidence.  I don't remember who discovered it, but one of us got to the bedroom at the back of the house first, and there it was - an empty bottle of Ibuprofen.  It was a large bottle of 200mg gel caps, one of the 80 count ones and it had been a little over half full when we left that morning.  We figured that she had consumed somewhere around 50 caplets - a total of 10,000 mg of Ibuprofen.  Yikes.

We called animal poison control and were told to monitor her for stomach ulcers and kidney failure.  At first she seemed her usual, peppy self, but by Sunday morning, she refused to go outside, would hardly leave our bed and was peeing all over the house.  We did some research on-line and found out that Malox could help dogs with potential stomach ulcers, so we went and got some.  And here's the funny part - our dog, who eats literally everything, balked at the Malox.  She clamped her lips closed, and when we forcefully opened them and poured in the MAlox, she shoved her tongue to the roof of her mouth and forced it back out again, spitting out showers of chalky, white Malox. Then she ran away with her tail between her legs.  To this day, shake a bottle of Malox in front of this dog and she runs for the hills.  And they say dogs have no memory.

Anyway, we finally took her to the vet on Monday morning.  Before we set out, we determined that she had a budget of $500 - that's all we could afford to pay.  When the vet examined her he found that she had extreme kidney failure and bleeding stomach ulcers.  And, even though she had been drinking water vociferously, she was severely dehydrated because the ulcers kept her stomach from absorbing the water she drank.  He admitted her overnight and gave her IV fluids and antibiotics.  The total - $580. Ok, we figured, we can handle that.

The next day, however, the vet called back to say that she could not keep food down and would therefore have to stay another few days - probably until Thursday, but since that was Thanksgiving and they were closed, they would keep her until Friday but not charge us the extra day.  The total for the remaining four days - $500.  Well, here's the thing.  At this point, we had already invested over $500 into our dog.  So if we brought her home early, we had the possibility of losing not only our dog, but also our $500!  So, we dug deep and paid the additional $500.  

Yep, that's right, we spent over a $1000 on our dog - we are those people.  But the thing is, she is part of our family, and at the time, we had no children.  We realized then, though, that if we had had children, we would not have been able to make that choice.  Lucky for her, we could, and we did, and she has now made a full recovery (though her bladder control was never quite the same). 

Fortunately, we've since learned our lesson.  We do a "Jager check" every time we leave the house, just to be sure that we haven't left anything tempting.  And we've learned to expand our definition of what is edible, because with a dog like Jager, you just never know.


  1. I am a total dog person like that too! If one of our three had a big vet bill then I am sure we would plunk down a large amount to save their little life. I don't know if non-dog people can understand that they really do become a part of your family!


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