In a previous post we covered Christmas food and other festive items that can pose a danger to our pets. We thought it also might be an idea to mention a case that came in where Bailey the puppy managed to get hold of his owners hangover cure! It turned out Bailey was a little more agile than his owners had realised. At the age of 8 weeks, he managed to scramble onto a coffee table they didn’t think he could reach, and chewed up three ibuprofen tablets – more than the standard dose for an adult human, let alone a five kilogram puppy!
Bailey’s owners contacted us as soon as they realised what had happened, and this undoubtedly made a huge difference to the outcome. They rushed him down to the surgery and Bailey got an injection to make him sick. The poor little chap brought up his breakfast with, hopefully, at least some of the ibuprofen. Unfortunately, ibuprofen can be absorbed within 30 minutes, so Bailey was going to have to stay with us. Ibuprofen is never a suitable painkiller for a dog, even in a very small dose, but Bailey had eaten so much there was a real danger he might go into kidney failure as a result. He was also very likely to develop an irritated gut, possibly even a gastric ulcer.
Bailey stayed with us for two nights and three days. Luckily for him, he wasn’t feeling unwell at all, as his owners had contacted us straight away, rather than waiting until he showed signs of illness. Unfortunately for us, that meant trying to keep him out of trouble was a 24-hour-a-day job; particularly when he was treating his IV drip line as a chew toy!
Luckily for Bailey, his second blood sample showed no sign of kidney damage. However, it would be some time before we could say he was out of the woods. He went home, but came back in three days later for another blood test – fortunately all was well, and thankfully, he has managed to avoid eating anything else that he shouldn’t!
At Christmas time we hear lots about foods, such as chocolate and raisins, which you shouldn’t feed your pets (for more information CLICK HERE); but it’s important to be sure that anything dangerous is safely out of reach – from medications on hand to nurse a Christmas hangover, to electrical cords from Christmas lights that a curious pet might chew on. Even medications that are commonly and safely used in humans can be dangerous for pets – a tiny dose of paracetamol can be fatal for a cat for instance – so never dose a pet with medication at home unless specifically advised by your own vet.
If you are worried your pets are unwell over the festive season, please contact the surgery on 01458 832972 for immediate advice.
Dr Lucy Fleming BVSc MSc MRCVS
(with grateful thanks to Bailey’s owners for allowing us to share his story)