There was a wee moment where I thought “If she’d just pass out for a second I could get in there and get it!”
I brought Zucchini home a rawhide bone…to give her a little something to occupy her time last week while I worked.
I heard the sound…the gagging…followed by her slowly and helplessly meandering her way into the room as I jumped to my feet to meet her partway…kneeling beside her to see what I could do to help.
It’s possible I should have phoned the vet or rushed her to a clinic…but to be honest…there wasn’t time to do anything but react.
I knew she was choking…her eyes were rolled back in her head and she was doing everything she could to breathe through her bulldog nose that clearly, from the snoring and the snorting I hear on a regular basis…isn’t super equipped for breathing at the best of times!
As I tipped her head back in an effort to open her mouth and see if I could see what I assumed was the rawhide…she panicked. In hindsight, I think that tipping back her head cut off her air supply even further than it already was!
With her teeth clenched tight I kept her head at a better angle and did my best to force open her mouth…my thumbs pushing her upper and lower jaw apart from one another as she fought me off…trying to swallow while my forcing her mouth open wouldn’t allow it
Then I saw it…the rawhide…the entire big knot at the end of the bone at the back of her throat…filling the space and expanding even larger.
I was just as desperate to get the object out as she was to swallow it and I’m not really sure how she didn’t end up biting me…nor did I care. I could see her trying to trust me despite an overwhelming need to protect herself…and I reassured her with my words and an odd calmness that had come over me.
In the end, I managed to get a finger alongside the “knot” and wedge it out. For your reading pleasure…I won’t tell you the remainder of the story except to tell you it took an entire roll of paper towel to clean it all up!
With the emergency over…I fell apart.
My pup, curling on my lap to console me.
I chit chatted with Rodney Habib (check out his blog on Pet Nutrition here) and essentially, he told me that Rawhide is a byproduct of leather that contains harmful ingredients like phenobarbital…a chemical used to separate the hide. Once it’s consumed, the swelling of the rawhide is the biggest issue. Rawhide doesn’t properly digest and bottom line…it’s just not a safe product for your dog.
Here’s the other thing…the BIG admission from my guilty “I almost killed my dog” conscience…I kind of knew this. I mean…a few years back, Zuke was eating a piece of rawhide and I had to retrieve it but only because it seemed “stuck” to the back of her tongue and I was more thinking it was a “gross” issue than a dangerous thing.
I adore this dog…and wouldn’t put her in harm’s way on purpose EVER! Though apparently, my lack of education did exactly that!
Zuke is fine. She needed a ton of water over a few days as I think her throat was a little bit sore…she was stuck to my side more than she normally is and used the situation completely to her advantage to get all the treats that she could!
In fact, I spoiled her repeatedly with Grinner’s Dog Treats…made right here in Atlantic Canada. And…if you want the list of why I love this product:
- They use Hellbay Beer in their Blueberry Chicken Treats.
- Along with Blueberry Chicken, they also have North Atlantic Shrimp and Holy Mackerel flavours.
- The treats have all natural ingredients, are gluten free, contain NO PRESERVATIVES and have KELP in every single bite!
- The company is owned and by my former mother in law…the baker behind these phenomenal treats…Robin Anthony. (And although I’ve not tasted a treat myself, if they’re anything like her cheesecakes…it’s no wonder so many dogs are drooling!)
- They have the most hilarious Facebook page that always has awesome pictures of dogs who love Drooler’s…and a fantastic story to go along with them.
- I designed the branding and packaging and it’s pretty awesome if I do say so myself.
- Grinner’s can be found at the Alderney Market on most Saturdays and at the Halifax Seaport Market on most Sundays (and visiting the markets on the weekend is just such a fantastic thing to do!)
Last week…things could have turned out a lot different than they did and I can’t even begin to let that thought in my head. This dog counts on me…and it’s up to me to make sure I’m giving her exactly what she needs along with keeping her safe.
Rawhide…much as my dog seems to love a good chew…just isn’t happening in this house anymore! Grinner’s Dog Treats…I’m currently out…and heading to the market for more!