Posts Tagged ‘labradors’

On my very first pet-sitting visit to Hersh and Samantha, two big, old, black labs, I found a chewed-up pill bottle next to their food bowls.

The label, ripped and sodden, was mostly unreadable. I didn’t know what kind of pills they were, how many had been in the bottle, who had eaten them or how long ago.

Naturally, it was late on a Saturday afternoon, so their vet was closed. Neither of the owners answered their cell phones.

Hersh and Sam stood by, grinning and wagging their tails, while I called the ASPCA Poison Control Hotline. A consultant looked up what I could read of the medicine’s name, then told me it was a highly toxic medication for bone cancer, which was afflicting Sam. Get them to an emergency vet immediately, he said. Watch for vomiting and convulsions.

During the half-hour drive to the North Central emergency vet in Westville, Ind. I kept a nervous eye on the two dogs in the back seat, hoping I wouldn’t see vomiting or convulsions. Each happily had their head out of a window on either side of the car.

After a $500 visit at the emergency vet, the two dogs were sent home with instructions to keep a close eye on them. We were all greatly relieved when neither dog showed any signs of distress during the next several days. They had dodged a bullet.

I went on to make many more visits to Hersh and Sam before old age claimed them. But I’ll bet they thought the very first one was the most fun of all. They got to go for a long car ride, were fussed over by lots of people, then brought home and fed dinner. From their point of view, it was a great visit!

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