Monday dawned with a full-blown anxiety attack hovering. Seeking just an hour of quiet, an hour or solace, an hour of something other than work or worry, I headed out to the greenhouse. Big mistake. An unsupervised and steroid-fueled Lilly helped herself to a non-food snack. There went my day.
When Tom left for work around 9 am, I asked, “You don’t think she’ll eat her diaper. Do you?”
Here’s a tip, friends. If you ASK a question like that, it’s best to go crate your dog right then.
I did not.
When I got inside, Lilly’s diaper remained on her and intact. It wasn’t until I headed back toward the master bathroom that I realized the problem. First, I saw some shredded tissues in my office. I noticed a bit more trailing and torn tissue in the “hall” between the bedroom and the master bathroom.
And, then, it hit me. I ran to the trashcan. Gone … gone. gone. gone.
Lilly had eaten not one, but TWO TAMPONS (sorry, fellas!).
[Thank goodness our veterinary team is almost entirely women. Seriously, seriously embarrassing.]
Following the protocol set when Lilly last went on a dangerously big steroid binge (eating half of a cotton canvass totebag), I gave Lilly more food, then dosed her with a mixture of peroxide and water.
She threw up, but only once … and with no sign of the potential blockage. (Looking back, my mistake was using kibble not canned food, and not giving her enough food as ballast. I probably could have solved this on my own, if I had stayed calm enough to think straight.)
Nonetheless, I called our family vet to report what had happened and my failed attempt, and the instructions were to come as soon as I could.
Remember, I went straight from bed to greenhouse, so I wasn’t even really dressed yet … I threw on jeans and a somewhat clean t-shirt, and Lilly and I raced down the mountain to our regular veterinary practice (about 30 minutes away).
We arrived by 10:30 am, where I learned an important lesson:
- Tampons do NOT show up on x-ray.
So, we didn’t take any and went only on my detective work at home to make the decision to go ahead and induce vomiting (again) in a more predictable manner — what’s known here as The Magic Vomiting Shot (apomorphine … right into a vein) … first used with Lilly after the paintball poisoning incident.
Our vet told me that she’s seen dogs eat 10 tampons and be fine and others eat 1 and not be. Surgery, she warned, was a poor, poor option for Lilly in her current state.
Yes, we risked Lilly throwing-up her many morning meds (which isn’t good … since, you know, they keep her alive), but we had no choice.
So, we got to work making surgery unnecessary:
- The veterinary team fed her a HUGE bowl of canned food, then waited about 15 minutes.
- Our veterinarian gave Lilly the apomophine into a vein in her front leg (bonus that her IV spots from hospitalization in August have NOT grown back).
- Within minutes, our little canine heroine yakked up everything she had in her, including (as our veterinarian joked) “dos tampones.”
- We waited another 15 minutes or so to make sure Lilly was done, then our veterinarian gave her some anti-nausea meds sub-Q.
- About $88, and we were on our way by around noon.
CRISIS AVERTED ! Lilly is fine, but I sure could have done without the extra stress and worry.
Tom met us at the veterinary hospital and stayed until it was clear Lilly was going to be OK before going back to work.
I wanted to pick up some takeout on the way home, but Lilly had — on top of everything else — peed all over my jeans.
So, the question became … just how yucky can a dog mom look but still go into a non-veterinary setting?
The answer … pretty yucky. No shower. Face not washed. Teeth not brushed. Glasses on. Urine-soaked jeans. I was a sight!
Yes, I could have hit a drive-thru, but fast food creeps me out lately. So, I raced into a local grocery store and got something from the deli instead. No one seemed bothered by my appearance, so there you go. Maybe I didn’t look too hideous.
I came home. Changed my clothes. Ate lunch. Took a nap … because by 1 pm, I’d already had ENOUGH of a Monday.
So, emergency aside, Lilly is set for her neurology recheck appointment tomorrow (Weds – Oct 10) and her next cycle of 4 cytarabine injections (Sat / Sun – Oct 13-14).
Our family vet admitted that when she heard we were on our way that she “didn’t know what to expect” in terms of how Lilly would look. She was THRILLED (and probably a bit surprised) to see how well Lilly is doing … considering all she has been through in recent months.
Our girl is nowhere near 100%, but she really is doing pretty well right now, so we’ll take it … as long as it lasts … and assuming we can keep her from eating something that will kill her.
To add comedic relief to my life, Ginko decided to help himself to some fruit while Lilly and were gone. We found banana stems and peels all over the living room.