Lessons from a Dog Owner (2)

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Part II: The Seizure Scare

It was a hot summer day, much like every other day in July and my sister had taken Timmy for a walk to the park. He loves to run around like a crazy animal, sniff and occasionally eat the grass and chase around a squirrel or two. They came home after about an hour. Timmy had his tongue hanging out of his mouth. He was panting and thirsty. He took a few big gulps of water and plopped onto his cushion for an afternoon nap. A couple of hours later he woke up. He tried to stand up, but to our complete horror, he couldn’t support his weight. He was lethargic and weak, and his legs kept collapsing. We gently pressed on his legs to make sure nothing was broken, but at this point, we knew that something was VERY wrong. The first thing that came to mind was that he was having a seizure. 

We quickly rushed him to a nearby animal hospital and they immediately began performing the world of tests. After what felt like an eternity, the doctor finally came out to speak to us. She said that he had most likely not had a seizure and proceeded to ask us some rather interesting questions. She began by asking if anyone at home used any type of illegal substance, somewhat offended, we immediately answered, NO! She then proceeded to ask us what we had done that day with Timmy. My sister explained how she had taken him for a walk to the park, much like she always did. That is when a light bulb went on in the doctor’s head. It was likely that someone at some point had used a recreational drug, such as marijuana and that traces of it were likely buried in the long grass at the park. Seeing as Timmy regularly sniffed and ate the grass, it was likely that he could have ingested a substance that caused him to have seizure-like symptoms. The only thing we could do was to let him sleep it off.

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We took him home and made him as comfortable as possible (yes, he’s quite spoiled!) and let him sleep. We monitored him throughout the night to ensure that it was indeed an isolated incident and that he wasn’t having reoccurring seizures. Morning came and it was like nothing had ever happened. He was awake, alert and his appetite was back! We were so relieved. Three years later, and we’ve thankfully never experienced something like this again!

Lessons that I learned:

  • Always keep your dog leashed at a park.
  • Keep an eye on what they’re sniffing (and eating).
  • Keep your eyes peeled for any strange substance on the ground.

If you haven’t done so yet, check out Part I, and join me next time for Part III!

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