|Bammer – My Puggle|
One of my worst nightmares as a “dog mom” occurred Monday evening.
I returned home after a lovely, fun and wine-filled Monday night with three of my girlfriends (we had been watching the Season Finale of “The Bachelor” at my friend’s house), and when I walked in the door, I expected the usual tail-wagging greeting that I always receive from my rolly polly little mutt. But I didn’t get that greeting, and when I walked in the door of my house and into my living room, my stomach dropped:
There, on my living room floor was the bag of raisin bread that I had purchased earlier that week, but the bag was chewed up, empty, and licked clean. While I was out, my dog, Bammer, who is a “puggle” (a pug-beagle mix), had managed to get a hold of the loaf of raisin bread and eat almost the entire loaf after I had left for the night.
I love Bammer so much that I sometimes even consider her to be my actual “first-born” child.
I frantically tried to recall exactly how much of that loaf of bread had been left, all I could recall was that there had been almost an entire loaf. This was confirmed the moment I looked over at my chubby little puggle, who was laying happily in front of my couch, because she looked as if she had eaten an over-sized football.
I got Bammer when I was in undergraduate school and lived in a single-bedroom apartment by myself, and she has been my best and most loyal friend ever since. Before I had my actual human daughter (Tessa), it was Bammer’s chubby face that filled up the camera roll on my iPhone; it was Bammer that sat in the passenger seat of my car as I ran errands on Saturday and gave a big doggy smile as the drive-thru ladies at Walgreens and the bank sent over a biscuit to give to my little mutt. I used to snuggle with Bammer in my bed and promise her that I would always keep her safe and then hug her head until she grunted and snorted in the ridiculously adorable way that pugs do; I used to attend “Puggle Meet-Up Groups” just so I could watch her play and snort with her other puggle friends (pug and beagle mix).
I’ve been so preoccupied with everything from surviving the newborn stage, to finding time to shower, to balancing my career, that I have somehow managed to effectively fail in my role as a responsible dog owner. I would have bet you a million dollars that I had left the loaf of raisin bread in a safe place (I could have sworn I left the loaf of bread on the kitchen table and I’ve never seen Bammer climb on the table). But none of that matters because, at the end of the day, I let my dog become exposed to a poisonous substance, and I should have known better. This falls only on my shoulders.
To make matters worse, we had to explore the possibility that our other dog, Chipper, possibly managed to get a hold of the raisin bread too. Chipper is a much better behaved dog, and thankfully, we later learned that she hadn’t eaten any of the raisin bread. I spent the next 20-minutes frantically calling every Emergency Vet service on my speed-dial for first, second, third, and fourth opinions.
Once I was finally able to reach the “on-call” veterinarian from Bammer’s vet clinic, he instructed me to give Bammer and Chipper each a dose of hydrogen peroxide to induce vomiting. The hope was that the raisins hadn’t yet been digested. Thankfully, Chipper’s vomit didn’t indicate any signs of having eaten the Raisin Bread, but unfortunately Bammer’s vomit was a raisin-filled swirl of bread dough and cinnamon.
From 11:00 PM that night until 6:30 AM the following morning, I was on and off the phone with the on-call veteranian as he instructed us to continue administering hydrogen peroxide to Bammer until her vomit no longer showed any signs of raisins. I was cleaning up dog cinnamon-scented dog vomit and rubbing the head of poor Bammer – neither of us got even a wink of sleep (dogs will eat their vomit if you don’t clean it up right away and the entire purpose of inducing vomiting is to get rid of the toxic substances….so you have to literally sit right there with your dog the entire time).
My sister, who is a freakin’ saint and my best friend and the most generous person that I have ever known, got out of her bed and drove over to my house and spent the entire night with me – helping me clean up dog vomit and come up with clever ways to get hydrogen peroxide down my dogs’ throats. (Tip: Ask your vet if you can add a little bit of milk to the hydrogen peroxide if you ever are in a similar position where you need a dog to drink hydrogen peroxide so help your dog’s willingness to drink it). Our downstairs bathroom still reeks of the cinnamon-flavored dog-vomit, and I will not be eating raisin bread of anything with cinnamon for as long as I can see.
I haven’t been that tired since I had a newborn, and I’ve never been that worried or scared for my dog’s life.
By 9:00 am the next morning, we were able to get Bammer to the vet. I called Sun-Maid, the maker of the brand of raisin bread that Bammer had eaten, to determine how many raisins were in each loaf of their bread and I was told that there are 150-200 raisins per loaf. We had counted over 150+ raisins in her vomit the night before; so this was promising news because this meant that we may have gotten most of the raisins out of Bammer’s system before her body was able to digest it. If her body did digest the raisins, there is a high chance that Bammer’s kidneys will fail.
Right now, Bammer is in the hospital. It has been 48 hours. Her blood work after 24-hours, and then after 48-hours (today and yesterday) indicates that the key kidney proteins and enzymes called “creatinine” and “blood urea nitrogen (BUN)” are in the “Low to Normal” range, so this is a good sign (high levels of creatinine and BUN are signs of kidney failure). Bammer is also producing urine, so this is a positive sign as well.
The vet called and informed me that Bammer was not able to hold down her food today, so the vet is concerned with her pancreas, so they are keeping Bammer for another night. The blood results for her key pancreatic levels will be back tomorrow morning.
Please pray for little Bammer.
SPREAD THE WORD:
Many people do not know about all of the foods that are toxic to dogs (chocolate, caffeine, coffee, avocado, macadamia nuts, grapes, raisins, etc.) In dogs, raisins are believed to cause kidney failure, and if not treated immediately, the toxic effects of raisins on a dogs renal system can lead to death. (See People Foods to Avoid Feeding Your Pets for more foods that are known to be toxic and deadly to dogs).