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In his surf shop at North Steyne Manly, I am sure Mr Hanrahan has held a bucket and spade or two, but I’m sure he didn’t expect to be holding a bucket for his poor sick dog, Sushi last Saturday while he was having his stomach lavaged at the vet clinic. Sushi, the spritely seven year-old pug cross seemed his normal curious self on his walk on Saturday morning but soon after, he became mysteriously unwell. By the time Sushi arrived at the vet, small muscle tremors had developed into generalized shaking and seizure type activity. Because of the uncontrolled muscle tremors, Sushi’s little body was overheating fast. While an excited, or hot dog might have a body temperature up to 39.2°C, at 41.6°C, Sushi was in the danger zone and at risk of serious damage to internal organs and fragile blood cells. Sushi was given an intravenous injection to help control the muscle tremors and seizures, and while blood was collected for a diagnostic profile, he was cooled to a normal body temperature and started on an intravenous drip. However, despite administering additional muscle relaxants, Sushi continued to twitch. It was only after he was anaesthetized that things began to settle down. Sushi was maintained like this while his stomach was lavaged, to clear him of potential toxins he might have eaten. There was nothing obvious in his stomach, however activated charcoal was delivered via the stomach tube, with the aim to bind any toxic substance further down. Without known access to toxins, the cause of Sushi’s illness remains a mystery although metaldehyde toxicity or snail bait is the most likely cause. Unfortunately there is no specific antidote for metaldehyde toxicity and recovery depends on controlling signs of toxicity. Thankfully, this case has a happy ending, as Sushi went home the next day, as keen as ever to get out and about and (no doubt) into more mischief.
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