Sunday, November 08, 2015

Jesus, what a scare.

I got home early this morning to find that Flash had eaten an entire pack of gum -- wrapper, foil, everything -- from a place I NEVER would have imagined he could have gotten to. He seemed to be his normal self, and I didn't think there was Xylitol in the gum, as it wasn't marketed as sugar free, but I couldn't be positive.

So early this afternoon I asked Leon Yoo​ to search Naver. At first she said there wasn't Xylitol in that brand (Denti-Q), but then she said that there was and sent me a close-up photo of the gum's ingredients (which, even having perfect vision, I couldn't read without a damn magnifying glass).

I've known that Xylitol is toxic to dogs -- hence me putting the gum somewhere I was SURE Flash couldn't get to, even though I didn't think the gum contained Xylitol, but just to be safe; plus, even if the gum didn't have Xylitol, ingesting A WHOLE PACK OF GUM wouldn't do any good to a human being's digestive system, let alone a 5-Kg Dachshund's.

With some Google-fu, I discovered that Xylitol can cause a dangerous in surge in insulin that can kill a dog in 15 minutes. That obviously didn't happen, but reading more I learned that it can also cause liver failure from 24 to 72 hours after ingestion. 

So off to the animal hospital we went.

They did a blood test. As you can guess, the little dude wasn't fond of that procedure. He had to wear a cone, which for a grown dog probably triggers PTSD from being neutered as a puppy.

That 30-minute wait for the results was nerve-racking. When the vet came back, he showed me the results. I've never hated seeing red "up" triangles so much in my life. 

See, as far as I can ken, this can mean an increase or a high level, which could either be good or bad. I *think* the KOSDAQ uses a red "up" triangle to indicate an increase in its average, which messes with my brain. I get that the highest point of said triangle signals an increase, just as I know that the top of a mountain is its peak; but when the "up" triangle is red, my brain shouts, "Danger! Danger! Danger!"

The vet explained that Flash's blood sugar was fine, no danger there. But his liver analysis wasn't ideal; he had two readings that, while not high enough to keep him overnight at the hospital, should be carefully monitored. He prescribed Flash a diet to help his liver stats -- lipids, triffids; hell, I don't remember; I just wanted to go home knowing that my main dude was probably okay -- and some medicine.

The bill was 170,000 won. I'm not complaining. Maybe that's high; I don't know. But I'd pay double, triple, quadruple if it means making sure that my favorite little dude is all right.

He seems to be. 

I joke that Flash is an unstoppable force, like the Juggernaut from Marvel Comics or the T-1000 from Terminator 2, but only because he's done some remarkable, dangerous things. HE JUMPED OUT OF A MOVING VAN! HE FOUGHT AND KILLED A GRIZZLY BEAR TO SAVE THE LIFE OF A SMALL GIRL! HE ATE AN ENTIRE PACK OF XYLITOL GUM!

(Two of those exclamations are true.)  
Be well, Flash, you handsome little fucker.


Levity: This entire apartment has smelled like mint since. And not subtly. My best guess is that the gum is making Flash fart. He's become a canine Glade air freshener.

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