27 December 2011

The Higgs Mushroom Incident

Reese will eat anything small enough to fit between her jaws, and she'll do it in the blink of an eye. For instance, during the three microseconds it took me to open the gate, she took a bite of mushroom from the one that some mensa candiate pulled out of the grass and left on the edge of the sidewalk. I turned around just in time to see something white disappear into her mouth. By the time I bent over to pry the mysterious object free, it was too late. At least she left behind the telltale mushroom with an incriminating bite-shaped piece missing.

Well, fuck.

Not being a mycologist, I declared the walk over and dragged the disappointed dogs back inside. Matt found out what the suicidal puppy did while I was en route to the phone to call the vet. Not surprisingly, the receptionist said to bring her in immediately, with the remnants of the mushroom if possible. Matt loaded the puppy while I ran back outside to retrieve her leftovers.

The one benefit to emergency vet visits for poisoning is that your furry moron gets bumped to the front of the line. Of course, you get to pay the emergency fee for this nifty benefit, but we'll just ignore that for now.

After explaining Reese's new diet to the vet, I got to call poison control! Poison control, veterinary edition, charges $65 per case number, payable via any major credit card, to offset the cost of offering their services. But if the vet calls, poison control tacks on an extra $25 because they can. So the vet offered us the option of calling ourselves to save the extra $25, and I started dialing.

I had a nice little chat with the lady from poison control, in which I got to describe the offending mushroom in graphic detail. Of course the stupid thing matched three possibilities, one of which was nice and poisonous, and "not uncommon" in our area. Great!

She described exactly how the evil mushroom would soon destroy the poor puppy's liver and the symptoms for which to watch. I took notes. Then she described a host of precautionary procedures to cure Reese of the mushrooms.  I took more notes. Finally, she gave me a website with the email addresses of volunteers who identify mushrooms in possible poisoning cases. I ran out of space on the post-it note. Luckily, the vet picked that moment to reappear and I handed the phone over. I suspected that the professional would do a better job of describing the proper protocols to follow than I had any hope of doing.

First, they induced vomiting. Some poor vet tech got to examine the results and reported a small amount of white chunks. Next, Reese was given activated charcoal to absorb any poison that made it to her intestines. This delicious snack was followed with medicine to protect her liver from doom. And finally, they drew blood to establish a baseline for liver function, which they would compare with blood drawn 24 and 48 hours later.

When we finally made it home, we took close-up pictures of the offending mushroom and went to the internets. The website to which the poison control operator directed me didn't list anyone who was anywhere near Southern California. After a bit of debate, we chose the expert with the Stanford email address under the theory that it was the most prestigious sounding of those located in the state.

The expert replied the next day with the good news that Reese's preferred nosh was not poisonous. He did, however, decry the quality of the pictures. But that wasn't nearly as important as the no dead puppies part of his message.

Matt noticed the email address from which the expert replied - cern.ch. As in those guys who tried to destroy the universe with their Large Hadron Collider. Since we no longer had to worry about Reese keeling over, this email address was hilariously funny. Unfortunately, most of the jokes were so horrible that I will not risk ruining the internet with them.

No puppy story is complete without pictures. Lots and lots of pictures.

I'm on the right
A less vomit-inducing meal 
She never stops barking, even in her sleep
Reese's opinion of Zero
Dog fight!
I will sit on you until you shut up!

1 comment:

sugarandice said...

Poor puppy...Awesome photos!