When you take your dog for a romp in the countryside, the last thing on your mind is the outing ending up at an emergency vet clinic.
You might be aware the standard seasonal outdoor risks your dog might be exposed to. Potential dangers can lurk in standing water, buzzing through the air, growing or slithering in the grass.
Having your dog collapse turns a walk into a nightmare.
This is not a story you hear about frequently. It does, however, serve as an example that one can’t ever be diligent enough anticipating the kind of trouble their dog can get into.
Yogi is a happy, active girl with a solid recall. That allows her to enjoy a good level of freedom when outside in the countryside. She gets to run off-leash, explore and check out things to her heart’s content.
Yogi doesn’t come back when called
During this particular walk, Yogi disappeared into a ditch and wouldn’t respond to recall. Her mom went to find out what’s happening. Yogi was munching on something but it was dark and her mom couldn’t see what it was.
Yogi did respond to a stern recall, knowing she was in trouble for ignoring her mom. She was a good girl for the remainder of the walk.
Something isn’t right
When they returned home, instead of bouncing around in the anticipation of dinner, Yogi went to lay down. That was strange because Yogi always looked forward to her food.
Not only that–when her mom later called her for dinner, Yogi didn’t move. It became clear there was something seriously wrong.
She collapsed in her bed and wouldn’t wake up no matter what her mom did. There was drool coming out of her mouth and her body was limp.
Emergency vet visit
Her mom rushed Yogi to the veterinary ER. As soon as she arrived, the team whisked Yogi away for testing and emergency care.
Yogi was in a coma.
While under intensive care, the veterinarians were trying to figure out what happened.
Her electrolyte levels were abnormal. It looked like Yogi was suffering from some kind of poisoning. It seemed likely that it was related to Yogi’s mysterious find in the ditch. But what did she find there?
Getting to the answer
First thing in the morning, Yogi’s mom drove back to the ditch to see what Yogi was into. She found a dead deer with bite marks that were likely Yogi’s.
Further inquiry revealed that the day before their walk, a deer got hit by a car. A veterinarian came to euthanize the injured animal, and the body was to be picked up on Monday. Except Yogi found it first.
Along with the deer meat, Yogi consumed an equivalent of twenty sleeping tablets.
A barbituate is a class of sedatives and sleep-inducing drugs. Pentobarbital specifically, is an anesthetic used in euthanasia. It is a potent drug which remains in the tissues of the diseased animal.
Yogi managed to ingest the tissues laced with the drug. She was lucky to be alive.
Yogi remained asleep for thirty six hours. Thanks to the intensive care she received, she recovered.
Even as a diligent dog parent, you never know what kind of trouble your dog can get into during their explorations. I like letting my dogs enjoy off-leash time. But I also know I’m never happy unless I can see where they are and what they’re doing regardless of how safe the environment seems to be. People often shake their heads or laugh at me. But I like keeping my dog in my sight at all times, even though I want them to enjoy some freedom.
Dog Symptoms: When Is It an Emergency?