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If my dog ate an apple seed, I’d know who to call

Yesterday evening we had to call Poison Control. We are consistent people—therefore our crisis had to be odd because our other calls to Poison Control have been odd. When the employees go on break, we are the people they discuss over Diet Cokes and vending machine chips.

Last December I shared the story of our very first call to Poison Control:

~~~Amy, at Amy’s Humble Musings, posted about a recent call she made to poison control. Thankfully everything turned out okay, and she maintains her usual great sense of humor about the situation. Many of the commentors shared their own poison control stories. It seems like you can’t escape your children’s early years wthout at least one call to Poison Control. We haven’t.

And some people, like me, have called Poison Control on themselves.

When I was pregnant with Aidan, we called. Did I ingest Lysol? Was I overcome with ammonia fumes? Did I take too many prenatal vitamins? No. I ate an apple.

In the process of apple-eating, I accidently bit into several little black seeds which were clustered together. They were bitter and I tried to spit out the acrid taste. The word ARSENIC suddenly sprang to mind. Don’t apple seeds harbor arsenic, the same stuff Cary Grant’s ancient lace-wearing aunts used to put lonely men out of their misery? My unborn baby was inside. I could see the arsenic absorbing into my bloodstream. I envisioned it coursing through my body and into the umbilical cord of my baby. I told hubby what I had done—ingested apple seeds. He seemed unimpressed until I reminded him how apple seeds are little miniature bombs, loaded with nature’s own chemical warfare. I started sobbing.

He still wasn’t properly concerned, until I hysterically demanded he call Poison Control to see what the next step should be. He dialed. I curled into a ball on the couch, convinced I had done something horrible.

I have no idea what the person on the other end of the line looked like. I am pretty sure he or she was digging fingernails into his or her thigh to stop themselves from erupting into convulsive laughter at my expense. The Poison Controller assured hubby that all was well and I hadn’t just poisoned my baby or myself with apple seeds. I don’t think I quite believed it, but eventually I calmed down enough to give birth to her several months later, no harm done.~~~

No harm done…

Our dog is fine, too.

Last night we called Poison Control on our dog. I did not know you could call them regarding animals. While my husband dialed I felt a little like we were calling 911 to report we witnessed the shameless jaywalking of a grown adult who was also BAREFOOT, smoking, and wearing a Che Guevera t-shirt. Clearly up to no good.

Our dog ate an ant poison spike, which had been shoved into the ground under a bush against the side of our house. We found the chewed up and empty spike in the yard. Our first call was to the vetrinarian, who was completely clueless—“never heard of that poison!” Phone call #2 was to PC. After giving pertinent information like her name (Junie), her weight (20 pounds), and her breed (aussie/dachshund mix), the operator looked up the name of the poison—avermectin.

It turns out that avermectin is used in and on dogs to kill worms and fleas. Our dog ate such a small dose she would be fine. The disturbing thing is that her vet did not know this. To us, it would be like calling the pediatrician to report our child took too much amoxicillin, only to be asked “amox-i-what?”

Poison Control is a critically important resource. I wanted to pass this along so others would realize PC is quite knowledgable about animals and poisons, too. Pets aren’t known for having fabulous, keenly sharp discernment about what they eat and get into, so it is nice to go into the future knowing help is just a phone call away.

7 comments to If my dog ate an apple seed, I’d know who to call

  • Wow, we’ve yet to call Poison Control. Hopefully never!? We have unfortunately had our share of 911 calls that I’d rather not remember. So glad all is well! My dogs used to eat the ant traps in our house, too, but bad Dog-Mommy I am- I just assumed (hoped) it wouldn’t hurt them!

  • That’s good to know! Our doggie Meg had at one time eaten a good portion of our dumb cane plant (which I know is poisonous) and I ended up calling the dog equivilent to PC and spent $45 to find out I should give her milk to drink.

  • Jenni

    Hey, a REALLY handy thing to know in case, oh, I don’t know, your dog eats an entire huge wad of rising cinnamon roll dough on Christmas Eve at 9pm and is in danger of bowel torsion and death due to the dough rising in her innards (“Merry Christmas, kids! Tasha is dead, but hey, at least she saved us from all those calories and cholesterol!”) is that HYDROGEN PEROXIDE causes dogs to vomit. A lot. Even big blobs of cinnamon roll dough come up again without a fight. This is handy information, don’t you agree? Cause, like you said, these animals are not terribly discerning individuals.

  • hamster

    Good to know. I’ve never been impressed with Vetrinarians and then a vet I know, who I think is pretty competent, confessed that often she’s never performed a procedure before so she is reading a textbook as she operates on an animal — yikes. Maybe it has to do with having so many different spiecies as patients.

  • When my oldest daughter was little, she ate an ant poison spike at my Grandma’s house. Lucky for us, the spike was really old and wasn’t even potent anymore!

    I also called once when my daughter swallowed a bunch of Johnson’s baby shampoo. She got into it while I was in the shower and decided to guzzle it. Of course, she was fine, and her insides were clean and untangled!

  • mopsy

    Randi—and baby fresh, too!

    Jenni—how awful! I wonder what compels dogs to do things like eat a large bowl of cinnamon roll dough? It sounds like a particularly un-silent Christmas Eve at your house.

  • Cinda

    My dog ate an ant bait tonight not alot but some.Thank-You for your thoughtfulness in posting this. Feeling much better now.

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