Sierra and Poisonous Holly Berries


So today I was outside playing with Cody and Sierra.  Cody is usually a ball and frisbee hog and who doesn't always let Sierra fetch.  (We are working on this with him.)  While Sierra was off doing her own thing while Cody was being his usual obsessive frisbee hog I guess I didn't see that there were some poisonous Holly berries that had fallen on the ground from the Holly bush that was have in the backyard.  Guess who was eating some of the Holly berries?  Sierra!

I immediately ran over to Sierra and, “Sierra! NO! Stop eating that!” She jumped away and looked at me funnily as if to say, “What? I am hungry and just eating you know!”  I started to get concerned because I wasn't sure how many Holly berries Sierra had eaten and if she was going to get sick from eating these.  I checked her eyes, felt her stomach, and checked for anything that looked out of place or weird.  I thought she might start showing symptoms of being sick from the Holly berries, but Sierra was not acting weird and looked fine.

At this point I wasn't sure what to do, call the vet?  Take her over to the vet? I mean, I don't want to be a bad dog parent but we didn't want to take her to the vet unnecessarily.   Since most pet owners know it can get expensive very quickly.

Instead I thought we would take a short walk to Sherwood Gardens.  This way I could see if Sierra was having symptoms and being her usual old Sierra self.  If Sierra started showing any signs of getting sick, I thought at that point I would call and take her to the veterinarian immediately.

As we were walking along though she seemed fine.  Nothing out of the ordinary and she even did the Sierra look when I turned to start walking back.  Sierra has this look and will just stand and look at with eyes that say, “Hey I don't want to back to the house. Let's keep walking
!” It's sad but funny look and Cody usually wants to back to the house, so we can play more frisbee or ball with a Chuckit of course.

After returning to the house from the walk I determined that Sierra was fine and that I didn't have much to worry about.  I watched her for awhile and then decided just be safe I would call the vet and ask about what we should do.  They said that if it was within the hour we should induce vomiting by forcing Hydrogen Peroxide down Sierra's throat.  Since I think 2-3 hours had already passed, it wasn't necessary and would have been too late.  Good to know in the future in case she swallows something else bad, which knowing Sierra she will probably do.

After the talk with the vet it seemed like Sierra was going to be fine.  She obviously didn't eat enough of the Holly berries to make her sick, but she did eat some.  If she had eaten more she probably would have gotten sick.  At least everything is ok now, but Sierra gave us a scare today.

I guess we might have to remove the Holly bush in the back.  Since Sierra seems to like them.

Have any stories about your dog eating something bad?  Please leave a comment and let people know.

8 Tips to Prepare for a Hurricane with your Pets

Cody and Sierra, Part of the Family

With Hurricane Sandy, aka Frankenstorm, bearing down upon the entire Eastern seaboard and many states scrabbling to be ready when Sandy does hit, I am sure lots of people are going out to get food and supplies.  Something to remember during Hurricane Season and with Hurricane Sandy bearing down on us is to make preparations not just for yourself but your whole family, which includes your pets.

Pets are an integral part of people's and family's lives.  So make sure to follow these tips when preparing for Hurricanes with your pets.

  1. Food: Make sure to have enough food not just for yourself, but your pets as well.  We have dry dog food and canned dog food that will last Cody and Sierra about 2 weeks if necessary.
  2. Water: You also need to have clean drinking water for your pets too.  It is recommend to have 1 gallon of clean water per day.  If you are not sure if you have enough, at least have a teapot and heat source so that you can boil and sanitize drinking water if necessary.
  3. First Aid:  It's always good to have a First Aid Kit for people as well as pets.  You never know when you might need it.  I recommend having hydrogen peroxide (for disinfecting wounds), bandages and gauze, cloth tape, needles, gloves, ointment, and a blanket.  It is also a good idea to have a first aid booklet handy as well, as any medications that you or your pets need.
  4. Emergency Contacts: Keep an emergency contact for people who can help with your pets as well as veterinarians phone numbers in a safe place.   Also find the location of the nearest nearest pet-friendly shelter if you are your pet must go there.
  5. Towels and Rain Gear: We use microfiber towels that dry quickly for our dogs and they are very useful when we have no power, and can't wash clothes or towels.  If you need to go outside so your dogs can eliminate you are going to need rain gear.
  6. Cash: Cash is always good to have.
  7. Flashlights and Batteries:  It's good to have flashlights and batteries if you are going to be without power for a long time.   I would also recommend having short stubby candles since they are less likely to tip over and cause a fire.  Matches are a good idea to have too!
  8. Full Tank of Gas:  If gas stations don't have power, they can't sell gas.  It's a good idea to fill up your car's gas tank if you need to go somewhere with your pet.

I hope these 8 tips will help you prepare for Hurricane Sandy, Frankenstorm, or any other hurricane during hurricane season or other bad weather.  If you have a suggestion for this list or tips regarding hurricane preparedness with pets, please leave a comment below.