Have you ever gotten home after a vet visit and realized you forget to ask them something important about the discharge instructions or home care? Of course, this scenario typically happens after the vet hospital is closed and lines of communication are severed.
Below are real questions asked of VetLive veterinarians! Hopefully, the answers can help you in an emergency.
Question: 'We have a 15-week-old pup. Yesterday morning he got into my parents' tomato plant and picked off a green tomato about the size of a large grape. He ate about half of the tomato before we were able to get it out of his mouth. We didn't think too much of it until he had diarrhea later in the afternoon. I went on the Internet, did some research and found out the leaves and stems of the tomato plant are toxic, as well as unripe green tomatoes. He is showing absolutely no signs of being ill other than the diarrhea, he is not lethargic, he's eating, drinking and being himself. It was just the fruit and no stems or leaves. Looking online I could not find any information on the quantities of green, unripe tomatoes that would cause anything serious. Do you think we are safe to just be monitoring him closely?'
I do have some largely positive news for you and your pup. It takes large amounts of the unripe green tomato fruit to cause any real harm, and the most common first symptom you would see is severe GI upset, vomiting and diarrhea.
You mentioned he does have diarrhea. If he still has this today, I would recommend you take him in for a vet checkup as the toxic ingredient can have cardio toxic effects. The toxin isn't well absorbed systemically, so even if it causes GI signs, it usually is limited to those unless large quantities of the toxin are ingested.
Tomato plants contain alpha tomatine, a glycoalkaloid. It is found throughout the plant but especially in the flowers and leaves. Concentrations are high in young green fruits but decline markedly as a result of metabolism during maturation and ripening. Concentrations in plant parts arranged from highest to lowest are as follows: Flowers, small stems, leaves, calyces, small immature fruits.
Based upon the info, if he only ate about half of a grape sized unripe tomato, I am surprised to hear he has had diarrhea at all. It is possible it is from something else entirely. Still, with dogs being mischievous as they are, I would keep an eye on him and if the diarrhea continues today, I would advise you to be cautious and pursue a vet visit.
Question: Carson got into a room and ate a 4 oz tube of Methigel. What should I do? Carson is a Great Dane weighing 122 lbs.
Email 1: Good news mostly! If Carson ate the entire tube this would be only double the prescribed dose for a dog his weight. I want to check with a colleague on this, as there is very little available with this medicine relating to overdosages in dogs.
Methionine does not seem to cause overdoses in dogs according to the literature search I've done. It would be worrisome in cats, but there is nothing available about this being dangerous for dogs specifically. The one thing that can happen is metabolic acidosis but the dose would need to be higher than simply double the dose.
Like I mentioned, the dose he consumed should be fine but I will verify with a colleague and get back with you.
Email 2:I did the calculations based upon his weight (and double checked them with a colleague). Eating the entire tube would actually be his daily dose. It is typically given every 12 hours, and the whole tube is what he would need in one 24 hour period.
I read a report on a dog (Lab) who ate a two pound bucket of methionine so I just want to put it into perspective. That bucket is an overdose (though the dog suffered no ill consequences) but the 4 oz tube should be fine for a dog Carson's size. He may experience diarrhea.
Please let me know if you notice anything unusual but I suspect the remainder of your evening will be uneventful.