Monday, March 5, 2012

PSA: The Dangers of Human Food

With all the ways we work to prepare our dogs to be successful city dogs, make sure they're good ambassadors and well-cared for, one of the little known things is that several types of human food can be fatal for dogs. Sure our families like to slip the dogs a treat under the table at Thanksgiving or we might let our dogs pick up the scraps from the floor when we're cooking, but it was only recently that I learned things like grapes, raisins, and onions can be dangerous and deadly, even for large dogs. Over winter break we learned one of our SociaBulls members, Jax suffered acute renal failure and his vets expected him to die after eating some raisins he found outside. Here is his story and a reminder to watch for food our dogs might find during walks:
There are so many things you worry about with a rescue, especially with an extremely fearful dog. I knew chocolate, macadamia nuts, cooked bones, caffeine and onions were toxic. But raisins? Raisins almost took my best friend away. It can be one, two or ten. Red or green grapes. A box of raisins or five.
Jax is a fearful dog who is most comfortable with his family--the people he knows the best--and his greatest joy is running loose on the golf course we live on with some furry friends. Jax gets his regular walks in the morning and afternoon, plus at least 2 trips to the golf course: no scary people, noises or things and just free to run and roam. The minute we hit the course, off leash he goes and zoomies galore!
The problem is that golfers and others throw food and scraps on the course, and Jax will find it each and every time. If I see him snatch something I go to him and open his mouth and take it out, but there are times I'm too late or I don't see him doing it....and it was almost deadly this time.
On December 26th after being out for an hour on the golf course  we came home and Jax, within 10 minutes of walking in the door, threw up. Jax has never thrown up since I've had him. I was on the phone with a friend and went into the bedroom upon hearing him vomit. I was saying to her dumbfounded, he ate raisins, the pile of vomit was fresh with raisins. She screamed into the phone "take him to the ER Now!" and right as she said it he vomited again.
Jax was not expected to make it. He was in acute renal failure. Pumping fluids, charcoal and he wasn't responding. He was barely producing urine for how much fluid was being pumped into and his BUN and Creatnine were at alarming levels and continuing to steadily rise. Day 2 in the afternoon they told me there was nothing more they could do, and he wasn't responding to treatment. I told them I wouldn't let my boy die in the hospital and asked to take him home. They didn't expect Jax would make it until the evening and when it happened it would happen quickly; he would within minutes drop into a coma.
But my boy is a fighter and Jax made it! We will go for dialysis twice a month for the next 6 months due to the severity of the poisoning, but it's just to give a boost to the kidney; he shouldn't have any long-lasting effects after this.
The terror and fear I felt cannot be adequately expressed; Jax is my family, he is my best friend, and I can't imagine ever being without him. I've written this to let people know how fatal this can be. There are a number of sites listing what not to feed your dog, the one I will share is from WebMD and found here. 
 We're glad Jax is doing well now, and we want to thank his Mom for sharing their story so we can all be aware of things our dogs shouldn't eat, remind our friends and family not to feed our dogs human food, keep all these items out of the trash and areas where our dogs might find them, and watch for things they may pick up on walks.


TheQueerBird said...

This is so scary. We just went through something similar with our cats, and I wrote about it here:

A scary thing about some of these flowers, too, is that it's not just eating the flower that does it, but even getting pollen on their body. I've been surprised to hear about how many people don't know that lilies are SO toxic for their pets, so I just wanted to add this in! Hope it helps someone (and hopefully before their pets spend as long in the hospital as ours did).

On a side note, the poison control hotline, though it cost money, was super helpful and very friendly. I would highly recommend it to anyone who is considering using it!

I'm so glad Jax is okay!!

HoundDogMom said...

How scary. we are glad that Jax is on the road to recovery. Also, apricot pits are deadly as well for dogs. My brother's dog would eat the apricot and then the pit and they got very sick but was able to pull through. Same reaction as eating raisens. Sniffs, The HoundDogs

Anonymous said...

That is so, so scary. I know when I first read the list of dangerous human foods for dogs I was shocked at how many there were. I am so glad Jax is okay now...poor guy!

Trissi_V said...

I am so glad the Jax is going to make a full recovery. My Laci, can smell food any where and will go after it...hearing something like this just scares me that she will get into something that she is not suppose to and it will hurt her, even with me watching her like a hawk. Fur babies cause so much worry.

A Confessed Pit Bull Addict said...

That is so terrifying! I'm so glad it wasn't worse! Thank you for this very important reminder that many of the foods we love are deadly to our furry family members.

Two Kitties One Pittie said...

That is so scary, and I am really glad that Jax is okay. I learned a lot from this post, and I hope that others do too. Thanks for sharing Jax's story! <3

brooke said...

How scary!
We have a list on our fridge that we got from the vet on our first appointment with Darwin that lists all the things that could be poisonous for dogs. We look at it a lot just to make sure.
So glad Jax is okay!

Two Grad Students and a Pittie said...

this is so scary and important. thank you.

Anonymous said...

oh my gosh! very scary, but fantastic that Jax recovered!

Two French Bulldogs said...

Yikes...very scawy
Benny & Lily

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