I was doing so good this year. Blogging at least once a week, and most of the time cranking out 2-3 pieces a week. I was crafting it up too. Then we had a scare and the blog and crafting went the wayside.
So if you've been reading my blog for hardly anytime at all, you'll know that DH and I have Sophie, a sweet and spunky Bichon Frise. Soph is young 6 years old (in human years). We have had her since she was 9 weeks old. She is such a fun pup and is ALWAYS so excited to see us when we get home. She does a "happy dance" for us everytime we go somewhere and come back. This pup is so full of spunk and spirit and nothing gets her down. NOTHING! Not even a trip and overnight stay at the Emergency Vet and then additional follow-up tests by her regular vet.
Here's what happened....
On the first Sunday night in March, I hear DH hollar "drop it! Sophie, I said drop it!" Normally, Sophie obeys pretty well....especially for me, but for DH she gets testy. On this occasion though, him telling her to "drop it" was a little too late.
So lets back up a little... I left my purse in the butler's pantry after coming home from church. He kindly placed it on the floor by my side of the bed. I did not have my purse zipped. Sophie got into my purse and snatched a pack of gum. When DH told her to drop it, she did drop the package, but not before swallow some of the contents. When I found this out, I went into panic mode. I ran to the computer and googled the pack of gum to find out the contents. When I read the contents, my heart sank. The gum did indeed contain an ingredient, I had heard could be deadly to canines, called Xylitol.
Xylitol is a sugar alcohol used as a sugar substitute in gum, candies, and baking. It is safe for human consumption but can be fatal to canines. Depends on how much Xylitol is in the sugar free gum, but as little as 2 pieces can kill a 20 lb pooch the size of my beloved Sophie.
DH at first thought I was being dramatic and overreacting because he had never heard of this Xylitol issue with dogs. He called the Emergency Vet while I grabbed Sophie, her collar, her leash, my purse and shoes and got in the car. He came running with his shoes and told me, "They said we need to get there as soon as possible. This can be life or death."
They were at the front waiting on us when we got there. We made it there about 20 minutes after she ate possibly 1-3 pieces. Within 2 minutes, they had gotten her to throw up a wrapper and some gum. I won't get into all the details but here's a little of how the rest of the night went. They basically told us that it was a good thing that we got there in under 30 minutes and that she did in fact throw up. But that because Xylitol is an alcohol it is absorbed into the blood stream almost immediately, so time would only tell how much damage it did. They told us to expect her blood sugar levels to start dropping and that her liver could be irreparably damaged within 24 hours. I cried. I cried some more. DH cried. I cried some more. She's my girl, ya know. That's my baby. I could've prevented this. And what if she never came home with me? What if I never got to see her happy dance again? All this and more crushed my heart....and still is. I am tearing up typing this as I can still feel the pain.
They started her on glucose fluids and monitored her levels. They took blood every 2 hours. Around 2 am her blood sugar lowered, but before morning had rebounded. Her liver never showed signs of damage. After being all night at the emergency vet, they told us that her levels were stable and we should take her to her regular vet when they opened.
They left her IV in. The whole way from the ER vet to her regular vet, you'd never know what they pup had been through. She was her same crazy self...with the IV in! I had to hold her down to keep her from ripping the IV out. The regular vet kept her another 5 hours...and her blood sugar levels remained steady and her liver function showed fine.
I am thankful to my merciful heavenly Father for saving my sweet girl for me. I know the day will one day come, but I wasn't ready it yet. I love her so much. As my mom told me that night, "God knows you love her and He cares about your Sophie because He cares about you." I know He saved her just for me and I am SO thankful.
PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE make everyone you know of aware of the fact that sugar-free gum, candies, and food can be deadly to dogs. I hope that this message will help save someone else's pups life.
I will leave you with a pic I took of my sweet smiling girl after we got home with her that Monday. Her poor little legs were all bruised and bloodied from the IV and blood samples.....but she is still HAPPY....and she is still HERE with me which makes her mama happy. :)