I meant to write about this sooner but I’ve been having problems processing it all, so traumatizing was the whole thing.
Last Friday night, Fitz ate both of JAMAL’s parents’ pill boxes, the kinds with the day-of-the-week compartments, while we were out to dinner. His parents were down visiting for the weekend and left them on the table, not realizing I guess that the dog is a lunatic and only days piror had managed to pull a brand new loaf of white bread off the kitchen counter, devour the whole thing, most of the plastic included, and then poop on our floor. Let me tell you, the blind panic that washes over you when you walk into the house and see two empty, mangled pill boxes on the floor is something I never want to experience again. I almost passed out.
Fitz didn’t even seem embarrassed, let alone sick, but we started carefully compiling a list of what he could have possibly ingested before we called our vet and animal poison control. Here’s what we came up with: 800mg of baby aspirin, 9000mg of fish oil, 6000mg of calcium supplements, 3000mg of CoQ10, blood pressure medication, multivitamins, and gummy vitamins. The animal poison control hotline (which definitely went up in price since the last time I called when Fitz ate a box of matches, from $35 to $65) recommended we go to the closest pet emergency room, and our vet said the same thing. So we got in the car at 10pm and drove over to University of Pennsylvania’s animal hospital, thankfully only a quick drive away. The place was packed. Packed! Someone saw us right when we came in and scooped Fitz out of our arms (we were carrying him not because he was sick, but because there were other dogs in the waiting room and he would spaz out) and took him to the back where they induced vomiting to get as much as they could out of his system. Thus began a three hour long waiting process.
We spoke with the attending vet several times throughout the night, and he kept us updated on what they were doing and what they had found. Fitz, meanwhile, was in the back howling his head off like he was on a hunt and had found a fox, thank you Beagle-genes. The crowd in the waiting room slowly started to dissolve around midnight, when it was just us and another couple who brought their Shih Tzu in after a dog bite. Fitz was given a dose of activated charcoal to bind whatever toxins were left in his body. Calcium in high doses can be lethal, apparently, but the vets never pushed anything on us and asked for our permission for everything they did. Like we were going to say no, or something? “This can save your dog but it’s about $40.” “Ew, no.”
Finally, at 1am Fitz was discharged with a prescription of Pepcid to help his stomach, and the funniest discharge paperwork I’ve ever seen.
“Fitz has a history of eating things which he should not eat.” That is going on my grave. Not his, mine, because this dog is surely going to be the death of me.
We went home and Fitz conked right out, exhausted from the long experience. We all slept until 10:15am the next morning, which has never, ever happened as long as I’ve known JAMAL or had Fitz. Neither of them are capable of sleeping past 8am. Fitz went out on his walk, and came back in and looked a little woozy. He plopped down on the rug by the front door and wouldn’t move, even when called or taunted with toys. Nothing. We finally got him into a sitting position and made him walk over to us, and that’s when we realized his back legs weren’t working. At all. He was walking like he was drunk. JAMAL scooped Fitz and set him on the sofa, where he proceeded to wheeze weirdly, until I hysterically called Penn Vet Hospital again and then told us to come back in. AGAIN. We had left a mere nine hours before, but we had to go back because something was clearly wrong with Fitz. I spend the whole ride crying, holding him on my lap as he shook.
Don’t worry, he didn’t die, but it certainly felt like a possibility at the time. We spent another three hours at the hospital Saturday morning, where the vet determined Fitz had likely strained something in his lumbar during the “aggressive” vomiting from the night before, and that he wasn’t suffering from some neurological deficit caused by, and I believe the medical terminology is, Being an Asshole and Eating a Pharmacy. This time we were given more hilarious paperwork claiming Fitz was “an adorable patient!” and a scrip for Tramadol, with strict orders to rest him for two weeks. Tramadol is a hell of a drug, if you’ve ever taken it, and it’s made Fitz super sleepy and calm. I want to give it to him all the time.
So that’s the story of how we spent $300 on a stomach pump and both needed a stiff drink afterwards. The rest of the weekend passed without issue, though we’re back to crating Fitz anytime we’re not home (this must seem like the most “DUH” move of all, but whatever, we’re learning). The vet warned us Fitz could have wicked stomach upset over the whole thing, but the only adverse side effect we’ve noticed is that his royal highness will now only eat his dinner if we put the bowl on the sofa next to him. We did that the first two days because he was too achey to stand on the floor and eat normally, and now he scoffs at you unless you bring him his food. What a diva.
Just kidding. I love you, Fitzwater. You crackhead.