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How a $2 purchase can ultimately cost you $415

Leah and I wound up at the emergency vet clinic late Friday night. Earlier that day, I had a half of a bag (approximately six or so ounces worth) of semi-sweet chocolate out on the kitchen counter, because I intended on making chocolate chip muffins. Well, as I was folding a load of laundry, Alyssa and/or Ryan swiped the bag off the counter. It only took me 2-3 minutes to fold a few towels and put them away, and then notice the bag missing, but in that short time span the kids managed to put the bag within Leah’s reach, and she wolfed down everything.

Silly me, I believed Alyssa when she said that Ryan ate the chocolate. But I obviously knew different around 9:00pm, which is when Leah started vomiting. Let me tell you, vomit of any kind is gross, but the chocolate variety is especially disgusting. Sickly-sweet vomit is not something I ever want to have to deal with again!

So, off to the emergency vet we went, as soon as Dan got home from work. At that point Leah had thrown up at least five or six times, and chocolate vomit was continually dripping from her mouth. I got her there, they weighed her, notated what type of chocolate she ate and approximately how much, and then whisked her off for blood work and medication.

3.5 hours and $413 later, we left. Her blood work showed that her pancreas was okay, but everything was quite elevated, and they were worried about very early signs of heart arrhythmia. Hence why they kept her for three hours. They gave her a bunch of anti-nausea and anti-vomiting medications, and a healthy dose of charcoal, which coated everything in her stomach and prevented any more absorption from happening. They also injected replenishing fluids under the skin behind her neck, and cleaned her up for me and lined her carrier with a fresh pad.

I got home with her around 4am on Saturday morning, and crated her. As of Saturday afternoon, everything had worked its way out of her system, so I gave her a much-needed bath, and cleaned up her crate once again. Right now she’s back to her old self, though she’s on a strict diet of water and plain white rice. She isn’t too thrilled, but I am not taking any chances! I can start giving her some kibbles tomorrow evening, so hopefully by Tuesday she’ll be back on her normal food schedule.

So, I’m tired. That was definitely a rough and unexpected start to the weekend. It was also an expensive one, and a stressful one. I love my dog, and I would be very upset if something happened to her!

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10 replies to “How a $2 purchase can ultimately cost you $415” - Go to comment form

  1. Glad to hear Leah is okay. Too bad insurance for pets doesn’t come packaged with people insurance.

  2. That really sucks that happened. I hope Leah gets better soon. Chocolate is definitely not good for dogs. Even if it only took you 2-3 minutes to fold laundry, that’s really all it takes. Dogs (and kids) get into all kinds of mischief when you aren’t looking. Yesterday, I put my brand new foam mattress topper on my bed. My dog was up there laying on it while I was getting my new sheets out and all. I walked to the bathroom for 2 seconds to wipe my nose. I come back in my room and my dog was chewing something and I noticed he bit out a chunk of my new mattress topper.

  3. Kanu


    Thank god Leah is okay. I have heard that chocolates of any kind are bad for dogs. I am glad she is doing fine now. I can’t think of any dog in pain/sick/hurt as I lost my dog few months ago and it still hurts. You are lucky to have emergency vet clinics there. No one has heard the term here in India..there are not even many vets and the ones that are here do not have much resources to handle emergencies. I wish we had such facilities here. All dogs are special, take care of Leah… she is such a cute pug!!

  4. P.A.


    Poor Leah :( animals drive me nuts! One of our cats just last month ate a piece from one of the boys’ toys and ended up having over $2,100 in vet bills because it was lodged in her intestine. You can’t possibly watch them all of the time, and cats really can get into just about everything. You’re fortunate you knew what was happening! I am glad she’s doing better and hope she feels like herself again soon.

  5. I’m glad she’s all right! I couldn’t imagine something that horrible happening to my cat! :(

  6. Aww, poor Leah. I’m glad she’s doing better now. =)

  7. Kat


    Glad to hear that Leah is ok, but ouch on that bill! Man, pets cost almost as much as humans do.
    That $415 is 2 trips to my doctors, so yeah, almost as much as humans.

    I love math captchas.
    They make you stop and think even if it’s a super easy one like 10+7 ha ha ha

  8. Glad Leah is okay. We had to take our puppy to the emergency clinic once, and the cost was $98 just to be seen…Luckily he didn’t need tests or meds, or it could have been a ridiculously high bill!

  9. So glad that Leah is okay! It’s funny how animals tend to get sick at nighttime. When the regular, much cheaper vet, is closed. Hamlet has lived with us for almost two years, and the ONLY time we’ve ever had an emergency was in the middle of the night (he had an allergic reaction to vaccines). My dad’s cat is ten years old, and last year was the first time she had an emergency. Of course, it was in the middle of the night. Darn pets! haha. But they are totally worth it though.

    Hamlet also got a hold of chocolate once, but it wasn’t a big deal. It was those little Dove chocolates, and I caught him with it in his mouth. I had stupidly left it on the coffee table, completely within his reach. By the time I came back and noticed he had already sucked about half of the chocolate out of the wrapper, which was probably just only a fraction of an ounce. Still I completely freaked out. I did some research online, and realized that dark chocolate is the least toxic. For his body weight he could have eaten something like 15 plus ounces before it would put him at risk for death. So I just watched him to make sure he was okay, no signs of distress or anything, and thankfully he WAS… because of course this happened at like 7pm!

    Anyway, so relieved Leah is okay! But I feel bad for your wallet, as I know your vacation is coming up :(.
    Oh, and thanks for the award! :) I probably won’t get to it until tomorrow or so… don’t really feel like blogging right now ;).

  10. I was following it on Twitter and Facebook. I’m glad Leah is okay! I was scared there for a while.


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