Guest Post: Lea writes about her dog eating a gel pack

Medical articles
Tahlula at Adoption

Lea writes the Embrace Pet Community blog. She recently had a scary situation with her Rottweiler Lula. Here’s Lea's write up about Lula’s poison control call.

One of the few downsides to working at Embrace is hearing about how so many other pets get sick or hurt.  It makes me want to trap my dogs in a bubble, and while it’s made me a smarter pet parent (Like, now I know to watch out that my dog’s don’t get a hold of sugar free gum or avocados) it’s also made me a bit paranoid too.  As in the case of my most recent claim, after Lula chewed open a hot/cold thermal pack.

Just a few weeks ago, I overheard the claims adjusters talking about a pet that had ingested some of the gel that was in a hot/cold pack (like the sort you see at your drug store), and the pet ended up having small seizures in the emergency vet.  (He’s ok now.)  Well, imagine my concern when I came home one evening, and found the gel contents of my hot pack drizzled around my living room, and in Lula’s fur.  Stupidly, I’d left the pack on my coffee table, went out, and there you have it-another case of a dog eating something that she had no reason to eat.

Even though the pack said “non-toxic” I was still worried, after hearing the horror story.  Does non-toxic only apply to people?  (Avocados are non-toxic to people…)  Knowing that I have good insurance, I went ahead and made the call to the ASPCA Animal Poison Control.  After about a minute in the queue, I spoke with a real vet, who got Lula’s details (age, weight, medical history).   She was able to look up the ingredients list for the particular brand (CVS) of pack, and confirm that for Lula’s size, and for a small amount ingested, a worst case scenario would be an upset tummy.  The vet let me know that the contents in some of these packs can be harmful if swallowed, so it was good that I’d called.

The cost for the Poison Control call is $65, payable by credit card right after the diagnosis.  The service sent me an invoice within a week, which I was able to submit toward my Embrace deductible.  (Even if we’d gone to our vet, it’s likely the vet would have called this same service, and still charged me for an office call.)

I’m adding hot/cold packs to my long list of things to store up and away from nosey girls. Has your dog or cat ever swallowed anything toxic?