115: A matter of perspective

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Trixie’s poison scare

We are doing some home improvement projects this week, one of which required the use of spackling compound. After using up the remainder of the spackle from the container, we set it aside and ended up having to get a new tub to complete our project. We never thought twice about leaving the empty tub on the floor where the rest of our mess was waiting to be cleaned up.

Later in the evening, while taking a break, I heard the sound of one of the dogs licking something in the loft area just outside my studio door. Thinking it was our little elderly dog, Holly, who likes to lick her paws, I thought nothing of it. A couple minutes later I got up to leave the room and saw Trixie just lying there licking the inside surface of the spackle container. I ran over and grabbed it away from her. There was some dried spackle compound remaining in the container. We looked at the label and saw that it contains ethylene glycol. Then we proceeded to freak out.

We called the emergency pet care center here in town, who referred us to the animal poison hotline – ASPCA Animal Poison Control, to be specific. We called them and they were extremely helpful. After the rep took our information (dog breed, weight, amount of substance ingested, how long ago, etc), she put us on hold to presumably consult with colleagues or a database, and got back on the line with us. She gave us great news – because of the very low concentration of ethylene glycol in the compound, and Trixie’s weight and the small quantity we estimated that she ate, the rep reported that we should not have anything to worry about. Trixie might have some stomach irritation, if that. As it turned out, she never developed any noticeable signs of irritation.

Whew! Just never even thought a dog would go for that. A google search shows that it happens frequently. It was a hard way to learn a lesson – we will be much more mindful about this type of thing from now on!