My Dane Ate What?!

Some days I think Daphne found my copy of Marley and Me, opened it to the chapter called “Things He Ate” and took that as a challenge. She frequently tries to play keep away with my socks or kitchen towels, and thankfully, she hasn’t eaten any yet. The scariest thing she’s done recently is steal a light bulb. When I found her she was happily slobbering on the bubble wrap while the bulb lay broken nearby. She appears to be no worse for wear, but it was pretty nerve-wracking.

This incident got me thinking about all the hazards around houses. There are plenty of daily hazards such as cleaning supplies, houseplants, and some people foods. With the holiday season starting soon there will be even more dangers for our pets. We could bundle them up in plastic bubbles, but that wouldn’t be very practical. It makes much more sense to hope for the best but be prepared for the inevitable.

The simplest preparation is to learn which decorations, household products, and plants are hazards and then put them out of reach. The ASPCA has a list of toxic plants on their website that can be a good reference tool:

But, if your Dane is anything like Daphne she may still get into trouble. If your pet eats something she shouldn’t what would you do?
It’s always best to immediately contact your veterinarian (or the local emergency vet if it’s after hours). They can help you decide the best course of treatment, and the timing is critical. The longer you wait to consult a veterinarian the more time the toxin has to cause damage and the lower the chances for full recovery.

In the case of toxins and poison it is important to have as much information as possible. How much did your pup swallow? What is the exact product? These details can help your veterinarian select the correct medication to counteract the poison.

The Pet Poison Helpline is another resource that can assist if your pet ingests poison. There is a small fee associated with this service.

Common human food can be dangerous for our pets as well. There’s always the risk of adding pounds to your pup’s waistline, but some foods are toxic. Effects can range from an upset tummy to worse. It’s easy to find detailed information on food dangers through a google search. Here’s an article from webmd’s pets section:

Let’s say your pet didn’t ingest a toxin or poison but rather a toy, sock or other non-food item. These are still dangerous because they can cause intestinal blockages that lead to all kinds of nastiness, including the possibility of death. As with poison time is critical, and the best course of action is to contact your vet. Depending on the item it may actually be more dangerous to try to induce vomiting; so please seek a professional’s advice first.

If you’d like to read more on the subject, here’s a link to an article from Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine on holiday-specific hazards:

What’s the craziest thing your pet has ingested (and lived to tell the tale)?