We almost lost Sadie this week and all over a $2 bag of semi-sweet chocolate chips. Monday we did a craft project in MOPS of cookie mix jars. I had seven bags of chocolate chips left and two bags of brown sugar so I thought I would return them. I had put the bag of return items on top of an ice chest by the back door. 24 hours later Sadie found the bag and helped herself to a bag of chocolate. After her treat she came upstairs to me. Noticing it was about time to feed her I headed downstairs. That's when I found the empty bag. I rushed upstairs and told Kaitlyn Joy to get her pants back on then (wearing a tacky star skirt) while calling my mom. I was debating making Sadie vomit; mom agreed, but then said I should call the vet. I did just that then rush her in (they are 2-3 minutes away). They quickly gave her a shot that caused her to vomit (not in front of me). They said so much came up that she had obviously just eaten it. Her heart rate was up so they put her on an IV and asked us to pick her up in two hours. 30 minutes after the injection they gave her charcoal to neutralize anything that may have remained in her gut. We brought her home and she hovered near the water bowl. It may have only been 15-20 minutes when Kaitlyn Joy came to me saying Sadie vomited. Sure enough she had and she was stumbling around. I guided her to the back door, but she seem to find the opened after I slid the glass open. She stumbled out then came right back in shaking and have a hard time walking. I wrapped her up in a towel then pulled her into my lap. We called the vet and they said to bring her back or take her downtown (which is what they preferred). My GPS wouldn't pull up the street crossing they gave me so I rushed back to them for help. Sadie was in REALLY bad shape. I rushed her in and they quickly took her back. She was hooked back up to an IV and given a couple different drugs. I got the address to the ER and rushed the 20 minutes to get there. Sadie's breathing was terrible to put it lightly. I wasn't sure she would be alive when I arrived. I ran into the ER and threw my purse, IV bag, phone, and all my other junk on the counter then ran back for Sadie. I scooped her out of the car and in the 6-10' it took to reach the door she started having a seizure. The first vet had said she was shaking, but at least she wasn't having seizures. Of course I was scared. The receptionist ran to the door to let me in while someone rushed to get her from me. It was a long night with little hope. Sadie was squeezing her eyes shut so they couldn't find out if she could see. After getting to the point of having seizures there could always be vision problems. They gave her a drug to bring down the brain swelling. Thankfully it worked.
We picked Sadie up from the hospital Wednesday night. The doctors are amazed she made a quick recovery. On Wednesday morning we called for an update fully expecting to request they put her down. We didn't want to keep trying to save her life then end up with a brain dead dog. So the plan was if she still wasn't there neurologically then we were stopping treatment. To our amazement she was lifting her head, looking around and responding to her name. They said she would move her legs like she wanted to stand up, but was to weak to do so. Seeing how she was still "there" we wanted to keep fighting to save her life. They called me two hours later to say she was moving her legs again so someone stood her up. After a couple tentative steps she went outside, peed, then went back in; that was two milestones. They were shocked. I went to see her about an hour later and instead of taking me to the back where she was pinned up they brought her out to me on a leash saying I could take her for a walk. I couldn't believe it! She acted like the same old dog she was before the chocolate. They had warned me her vision still wasn't right. Her depth perception was off. However we stepped off and on several curbs and not once did she faultier. She spotted her self in the store fronts and had to stop and sniff the strange dog. She was fine. For the rest of the day they worked to get her sodium levels under control. Without a bowel movement she still had the charcoal in her intestines and it was putting off sodium. Thankfully 23 hours after taking her to the ER she was released. The doctor told me when Sadie was assigned to her the other doctor told her Sadie was their Christmas miracle.
I have refused to add up all the bills, but I know we paid roughly $1200 for a $2 bag of chocolates.
The big kicker for me is that I had her at the vet vomiting within 30 minutes of her eating the chocolate, but that was enough time to absorb a deadly amount of the toxins. If I had waited for her to show signs of there being a problem she would be dead. This is all shocking to me.