Friday, November 30, 2012

Hydrogen peroxide... who knew?

In preparing for the upcoming holiday season, I stopped by the Lindt chocolate store on the way home from work.  I purchased 150 lovely truffles wrapped in brightly colored plastic wrappers.  I was excited.

In the hustle and bustle of arriving home near dinner time, two cranky kids, and bed time on the horizon, I dropped my bags on the floor of our bedroom and didn't think twice about it.

After all the dinner dishes were cleared and kids in pajamas, I headed off to get something from our bathroom.  I heard Otis noshing on something noisy.


Otis apparently thought those chocolates were exciting too.  When I came upon his gluttonous and potentially deadly feast, he had already consumed 27 white chocolate and 12 raspberry milk chocolate truffles.  And 38 wrappers... Nate was able to retrieve one bright pink one from Otis' teeth.

I called the vet immediately.  Mind you, it was nearly 8pm.  Thankfully our vet has late office hours.  I explained the situation.  I felt terrible about my absent-mindedness.  I was thankful that I could at least tell them the exact quantity of chocolate that Otis had eaten, as well as knowing that he had not been eating it long enough to digest it.

They weren't terribly concerned about the quantity of chocolate.  I learned that white chocolate has only teeny amounts of cocoa in it, so it isn't harmful to dogs.  The 12 raspberry milk chocolate truffles that he consumed wouldn't do much to him based on his size. 

They were very concerned about the plastic wrappers.  Each one is approximately 2 inches by 2 inches square... he had eaten 152 square inches of cellophane plastic. 

The vet stayed on the phone with me and instructed us to put Otis in the bathtub.  She told me to start pouring hydrogen peroxide into Otis' mouth, one ounce at a time.  Eventually the hydrogen peroxide would cause Otis to vomit, and the goal was to get all of the plastic out so he wouldn't have to have surgery.  I set the boys up with a Super Why to keep them away from the drama.  Thank you, Kids on Demand.

Nate held Otis still while I loaded him up ounce by ounce with the peroxide.  The vet said that Otis would probably need about 5 ounces to get him to start vomiting.  After 5 ounces, Otis was retching by keeping everything in.  We took him outside to walk around.

Eventually the hydrogen peroxide worked just as the vet said it would.  Otis lost the white, goopy, raspberry smelling contents of his stomach.  He stood off to the side as we dug through the pile and counted plastic wrappers with gloved hands.

Thankfully we found them all.  The vet was very happy with how things went, advised us to keep an eye out for Otis to show signs of chocolate poisoning (high heart rate and hyperactivity), and let me know that if we had a cat, this peroxide trick would not work for them. 

Otis has been sheepish and sleeping since the retching stopped.  No chocolate poisoning.  He's burping hydrogen peroxide every now and again.  I felt bad for him, but thankfully we aren't taking him for emergency surgery.  The remaining chocolates are high on a shelf.  Hopefully Otis has lost his taste chocolate... I know that sucking down half a cup of hydrogen peroxide after eating it probably left a bad taste in his mouth (pun intended... though its still a little too early to joke about it).


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