A little over two years ago on a hike in the woods with my people , I (the Scrapster) snuck in a little bite of something without even chewing and without any others who were with me ever noticing. It was so enticing, so attractive to me for some strange reason. I HAD to taste it. It was a beautiful morning. The sun was out and wildflowers were in full bloom. I had the best time. I ran and chased my Black Lab friend Kootenai in and out of the trees, under the bushes, over the logs. We were in the woods the usual amount of time, about an hour or so.
When we got back in the car, I didn't feel so well. Whatever it was that I had tasted just wasn't sitting well in my stomach. I became very ill very fast. And it wasn't pretty. The sickness just kept progressing.
By the time I arrived home, I wasn't able to keep anything in...Mom was starting to worry. She took me out to the deck and there, things just went from bad to worse. She told the kids it didn't look like I was going to make it. Something was VERY wrong. Mom called the vet and told him we were on our way.
By the time we arrived there, I was weak and lethargic. Dad was called from work. The vet asked a lot of questions. He asked that the technicians hurry the lab work and everyone around me seemed quite concerned with my condition. Dr. Scott sent Mom home to find the remains of what came out of my stomach since no one saw me eat anything. The vet needed answers and he hoped there might be some clue in the garbage at home.
As Dr. Scott thought...it was a poisonous, toxic mushroom...tiny in size and swallowed whole. I never even tasted it and it almost did me in. I was put on IV, stayed the night and everyone hoped for the best. It was touch and go all night, but somehow I pulled through.
Want to know more about mushrooms that can be toxic? Follow this link http://www.petplace.com/dogs/mushroom-poisoning-in-dogs/page1.aspx
Dr. Scott was worried about damage to my kidneys and body from the trauma. Tests would reveal any damage later. In time, the kidneys seemed to be doing their job...but over time, the food just wouldn't stay down. More tests revealed Pancreatitis.
(FIND out more about it here http://pets.webmd.com/dogs/dog-pancreatitis-symptoms-and-treatment)
Very painful stomach aches and now a whole new diet, no more scraps or bites from the table, no more greenies (my favorite), just very little protein. Special Presciption Dog Food http://www.hillspet.com/products.html every day of the rest of my life (luckily I LIKE it)... with little tiny bites of bread added in every now and again. (I used to be able to have little bites of turkey, but lately that has EVEN been bothering me.) Mom waited awhile to give me any just to test it out.
Last night I had a little turkey (oh, did it TASTE good), but unfortunately today I am paying dearly. MOM Feels really bad~ A bout of Pancreatitis and a day of suffering for me! When this happens, I lose my appetite and my stomach churns and churns. I lay on Mom's lap, sometimes even her head just to get her full attention. In about 24 to 36 hours, I will be able to eat again. Meanwhile, Mom gives me water in an eyedropper. I will be okay, but this means no more turkey ever! Pretty sure of that.
So..this brings me to the result of that toxic hike. After that fateful day, Mom went internet shopping for (pet) Health Insurance. http://www.petinsurance.com/ Yep. It was a very expensive mushroom. And I never even tasted it!
Sadly, the Pancreatitis is now a "pre-existing" condition, so any visits to Dr. Scott for that are not covered.
These words- Health Insurance, Pre-existing conditions...those are a bit controversial right now in the human world. I guess it IS a bit complicated. Too bad, though, that the world out there can't get it all figured out. Emergencies happen. People (and animals) need Dr.'s who are skilled, knowledgeable, and compassionate like Dr. Scott. I am fortunate to have a family with the means to pay for visits, proper vaccinations, lab work and x-rays....I am quite certain I wouldn't be blogging today without that priviledge. I am ONE lucky dog:) I know out there in the world are many NOT so lucky OTHERS. Let's put our People and Pet THOUGHTS together to ensure ALL of us get the proper CARE we deserve and need:)