White Dog and I were still struggling to break the hold of the warm blankets which keep us tied to the bed when Steve asked from down the hall, "Do you know how to induce vomiting in dogs?"
OK, we were up instantly. "Why?" I cautiously asked as he came into the room. "Um, Puff ate some of the ant bait. I thought I had the area blocked off but..." White Dog jumped down to go look for her sibling. She returned with the prancing, unrepentent Still Another White Dog tag behind; I scooped the old girl up in my arms and has greeted with an unhappy, let-me-down, sigh.
"What does it say on the label?" Steve got the Gourmet Ant Bait Gel container and called the 24/7 poison hot line listed on the tube. He got an answering machine message telling him business hours were Monday through Friday. We were trying to determine a panic level before rushing like lunatics to the Emergency Vet, so Steve called the New Mexico Poison Control Center.
They are basically a human information source but did have toxicology information on some substances for dogs. The woman who helped Steve was knowledgeable asked LOTS of questions about the ingredients, the brand, the amount Steve had put down and how much Puff had ingested. She then asked Puff's age, medical condition, weight, and her reactions to ingestion, light, being touched on her mouth and stomach.
It turns out (thankfully that the active ingredient, disodium octaborate tetrahydrate is great for killing ants but has a low toxicity level for children and pets. Woohoo! She set the phone down to do some calculations and came back to tell Steve that the amount was within safety tolerances but that he should try to induce vomiting by giving Puff a tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide and if she had not upchucked within 20 minutes to try again. If she continued all morning or became dehydrated, we were to take her to the vet immediately. If she did not vomit at all we should not worry or give her more hydrogen peroxide and instead, to quote the tech, " be grateful we have a pup with such a strong stomach." Little did she know SAWD regularly eats stuffies or rug fringe or other fibers until she does make herself sick.
Puff, jaws of death when it comes to prying them open for pills and such, made no exception here and we had to syringe it down. And of course, this morning Upchuck Annie as Nuka sometimes not very nicely calls her, did not...would not...in fact demanded breakfast plus extras!
She has been perfectly fine; although Steve has quite a few new grey hairs.
Later in the afternoon I got an email back from Cindy, Dr. Julia's #1, whom I had contacted after Steve left for work (just as a back up). She gave her approval to the advice and reassured us not to worry. "Keep that imp hydrated and away from the ant bait," she wrote, "and all will be good. Isn't it fun having 'kids'?"
Every Pet Owner should have this number written down and posted somewhere easily found: 800-213-6680. It is the Pet Poison Hotline and is staffed truly 24/7. They have the ability to help every poisoned pet, with all types of poisonings, 24 hours a day. Their website: http://www.petpoisonhelpline.com/ has a poison list and safety advice for pet owners.