I love “eves.” I like birthday eves, anniversary eves, New Years Eve, and my favorite is Christmas Even. In honor of Christmas Eve, I want to share a cute pet story to remind everyone to keep their pets safe so we can all enjoy a safe and happy holiday season.
It was several years ago and it was Christmas Eve. I was working at the hospital when a frantic pet owner brought in Charlie, her rather portly golden retriever.
Luckily, his pet parent had given us a call on her way into the hospital, and in doing so, had given me some time to do a bit of veterinary research for something I had never seen (it was my first Christmas as a veterinarian after all).
Charlie had eaten a glass tree ornament.
There are many times the diagnostic tests that a vet recommends are so confusing that the pet owner needs a background in medicine to understand it’s purpose. This was not one of those times.
The super-fancy and medical treatment for having eaten a broken Christmas ornament?
Cotton balls covered in peanut butter.
Feeding Charlie lots of cotton balls covered in peanut butter. As many as he would willingly eat. His nonselective palate this time was both a blessing and a curse, as Charlie would eat most anything, from cotton balls to glass ornaments.
The ways this works is the cotton balls and the peanut butter trap and softly capture the other ingested material in his stomach. The cotton gives it some extra protection as the glass and shards pass along his gastrointestinal tract.
While this sounds like an easy pet fix-it remedy for at home, the ingestion of glass or other sharp materials is potentially deadly and needs the direct supervision of a veterinarian to monitor for signs of danger.
I hospitalized Charlie overnight, and monitored him closely for signs of abdominal pain and intestinal bleeding, but he was fortunate to never experience anything other than being closed off from the Christmas tree the following day when he returned home.
While Charlie’s story could have ended tragically, this happy ending reminds me that sometimes the simple common sense medicine is the best.
Should you have need to ask a vet a question during the holidays, don’t forget we will be here 24/7 for you as always.
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Tags: favorite patients, Funny Posts, hearfelt, Winter holidays