Thursday, September 9, 2010

Miller Time

This is a cautionary tale, though slightly humorous. But I would like to preface this post with a disclaimer that animals should never be given alcohol on purpose, it is poisonous and cruel and anyone who intentionally inflicts this on their pet should have them taken away and should be arrested.  What happened here was a genuine accident and one we will never repeat and is only funny because we got lucky and our Ginger is healthy and fine, despite our mistake.  Even a small amount of alcohol can KILL YOUR PET.  Do not try this at home.

This is Ginger.  Our sweet little girl and Petey's partner in crime.  We are dog lovers.  My husband refers to me as a crazy dog lady.  I would never intentionally do anything to hurt my dogs, but sometimes the best of us make mistakes.
Ginger helps in the office.
Hiding in her crate
Edward Hippo Hands!
Ginger's got a new bag.

Last night we learned she had something in common with a certain famous redhead.  No not a cocaine problem (I'd have pictures of Paril Hilton for that, duh).  A drinking problem.

Something's been attacking my green beans in my garden and I suspected slugs, so I did what I've done since I was a little girl (who had a dog, HE never did this) to combat slugs, I set a beer trap.  You put a little dish of beer in the garden and the slugs drink the beer, get all drunk and drown in it.  My garden has a small fence around it, after setting my trap I tightened the fence up so our dogs couldn't get into it and I told my husband about it when he got home and how we needed to keep an eye on the dogs when they were in the yard for the next couple of days so they didn't mess with it or try to break into the garden.

Around 9 PM we both forgot and we let them into the yard.  Ginger came back in and hid under the bed, not unusual for her, it's like her little den.  About 30 minutes later she came bounding (actually slipping and staggering are more accurate) across our living room.  I looked at D and said, "I think the dog is drunk."  He looked at her and said she was fine and there was no way, but upon closer inspection she clearly had rolled in poop (a favorite past time) so he whisked her away for a bath while I strapped on my headlamp and garden clogs to inspect my trap.  Sure enough, most of the beer was gone.  I checked under the bed and as I suspected, dog beer vomit.

By this time Darryl comes out of the bathroom with her soaking wet.  She's shaking to dry off/falling over and he looks at me and says, "yeah she's drunk."  I took dog CPR and First Aid (yes I am certified to do CPR on a dog or cat, WHAT OF IT) so I knew I should call the ASPCA poison control hotline which I keep on our fridge.  As I'm sitting there a message comes on and says I'll be charged $65 TO TALK TO SOMEONE.  REALLY ASPCA?  REALLY?  One little voice in my head was screaming "THIS IS NO TIME TO BE FRUGAL" and it was a case of poisoning, but it wasn't like she drank a quart of motor oil.  I was not about to pay $65 for someone to tell me to give her bread and water and help her walk it off (that's what my freshman year of college was for, duh). 

So I called the local emergency vet, figured I could scam the receptionist into soliciting some free advice from the vets which totally worked.  We keep the map to the animal hospital stuck to the fridge.  We are the most prepared pet owners ever...except for when we accidentally leave dishes of beer in the back yard.  Dog owner, fail.

I talked to a vet, described her symptoms, the quantity ingested, weight, age, etc.  I was expecting them to tell me to bring her in for stomach pumping or charcoal or something dramatic, but they said all they could do is give her an IV of fluids.  Also not worth $60-$150 since her favorite snack is ice chips which she greedily gobbles up, so I kept the bowls of those coming to keep her well hydrated.  I know for a fact she was well hydrated because she peed all over our house, but by that point, we deserved it.  Meanwhile D had to disassemble our whole bed to clean the carpet where she'd thrown up (thank God she threw some of it up).

Petey didn't know what to do with the whole thing, he kept trying to play with her, pushing her with his paws so she fell over.  She was trying to run around the house and was slipping and stumbling.  I ended up keeping her snuggled up next to me, feeding her ice chips so she didn't hurt herself.  It may have been the fact that she was half wet from the bath and being pumped full of ice by me, but her whole body was shaking.  As funny as it was at first, you could tell she was really scared and that being drunk for a dog was NOT fun the way it it is for humans.  I ended up making her some white rice, I was hoping consuming a couple tablespoons of cooked rice would help boost her metabolism and process the alcohol faster.  Plus, I totally need a snack when I'm drunk, so I figured it wouldn't hurt.

We stayed up with her into the wee hours of the morning, pushing fluids, taking her out to pee, and keeping her awake (ah college memories, though I never took a roommate to the bathroom on a leash).  When she finally sobered up enough to the point I was comfortable going to bed (basically she was cognisent enough to scratch to ask to go outside rather than peeing wherever she happened to be standing at the moment) but we put her in our bedroom and took turns getting up every couple hours to check on her, take her out to pee, and give her more ice chips. 

The next morning she was clearly hung over.  A little snuggle time in the bed with me, followed by breakfast, followed by another big bowl of ice chips and she seemed okay.  I came home from work at noon to check on her and repeat the hydration drill and she was thankfully back to her normal self, saucy, running around the yard, tail wagging.

I think as more time passes I'll find this funnier, honestly I didn't know if I should laugh or film it or burst into  tears because I was so scared for her or maybe just have a beer myself.   Thankfully she is okay, remained conscious, frisky, and was openly taking on fluids which is why we didn't seek emergency medical attention, but if this does happen to your dog definately call a vet.  And let this be a lesson to pet owners out there to keep an eye on substances that could be toxic to pets, we were clearly very lucky and are so glad our pretty little girl is feeling like herself again.  In the meantime, we'll be signing Ginger up for AA.


Miss M! said...

Oh my goodness - I'm glad she's okay! I can definitely see the humor in it though, especially the part where Petey was knocking her drunk butt over. Thank goodness you guys knew how to take care of the situation. $65 for advice on the phone is insane.

For future reference, if you ever need to make your dog puke, dump a teaspoon of salt in the back of it's throat. Wait five minutes, then repeat until the dog gets sick. I find this works best somewhere you can contain the dog, like in the tub. That also makes it a little easier to clean up. We've had to do it a few times, if you can't tell. :)

Jane said...

Bwahahaha! Glad it all worked out okay ... :) And, glad to know they charge you $65. I took the number out of my phone! I'll just call the vet!

Jill said...

"Petey didn't know what to do with the whole thing, he kept trying to play with her, pushing her with his paws so she fell over."

baaaahahahahaha. i died laughing at that part. i think kylie tries to hijack jake's beer sometimes but we can usually steer her away. those lush puppies, i swear.

ps: the word verification is "disco". random.

Christine said...

I am so sorry to hear about Miss. Ginger! I am glad she is ok though. Big sigh of relief that nothing too bad happened! I do kinda wish there was video of the whole thing though...