This Article is About
arm chair
bedtime
Today, A Doggie And A Penny Cost Me $558
Join 1000's of Authors at StreetArticles Today!

Today, A Doggie And A Penny Cost Me $558

Today is Sunday and considered an ‘emergency’ day for Vets in my community. We have a group of Veterinarians (God Bless Them!) that take turns being the ‘on-call’ doc for those animals suddenly taken ill, or who have been in accidents. This group of Vets is the counterpart to the Hospital Emergency Room we humans visit when a real emergency arises.

Yesterday (another ‘emergency’ day in the community), it became obvious to me that my little 2 year old poodle ‘Becca’ was not feeling up to par as she was moping around most all day long. She ate and drank very little, so late in the afternoon I offered her canned chicken which she hungrily wolfed down. Although still not quite herself at bedtime, she slept all night.

This morning I found Becca to be weak and wobbly on her feet so I carried her outside, and after she did her private business, I carried her back inside. I laid her down on her favorite soft arm chair with a comfy blanket and began to prepare a little breakfast for myself. I knew at this point that I should eat, shower, dress and be prepared for an emergency trip to the Vet if her condition did not improve, or heaven forbid, become worse.

Shortly, I heard a little noise from her and found that she had up-chucked her supper from the night before onto the floor. Curious, I poked around and found that she had also up-chucked a Penny. (What I thought was a ‘copper penny’!) While washing the penny I saw that it had a large and several smaller holes worn through. Checking further, I found that Becca’s gums were very pale with no visible pink. I had become very concerned and knew at this point that she needed a visit to the Vet, if not today then tomorrow for sure.

However, I did find myself hopefully thinking that having the penny out of her tummy, Becca would start feeling better in just a little while. But being cautious, I quickly jumped in the shower and prepared for the day ahead – whatever it might bring.

My son and grandson stopped by and they were definitely concerned since lethargy was definitely not a normal state for Becca. Since she had not improved, I called the Vet on emergency call, and after explaining Becca’s symptoms, he felt that he needed to see her. He was very specific that I should bring the penny to his office. Once there he confirmed it was a penny and that stomach acid had eaten the holes into the penny. This told him that the penny had been in her tummy for some time.

Back in the exam room Doc checked her over very well, commented on the pale gums and said that he needed to x-ray her to be sure that there were no more pennies left inside. The good news was that there appeared to be no more pennies to cause concern about a possible surgery. That was a very good thing to know!

Next, he drew blood due to her pale gums indicating anemia. The blood in the vial was noticeably thin, and testing proved that her RBC, HCT and HGB were extremely low.

Doc knew what he was looking for, and the blood testing proved him to be correct. The penny in Becca’s tummy had caused a zinc toxicity that had caused Heinz Body Anemia. He explained that pennies were no longer made with copper. Due to the high cost of copper, beginning in 1983, pennies started being made with 97.5% zinc and then plated with a thin copper coating. While sitting in Becca’s tummy, that zinc penny had poisoned her system.

Doc said he needed Becca to stay overnight for a blood transfusion, but I was very concerned to leave her in a strange situation and thought perhaps I should stay overnight also just to keep her calm. Apparently I was not the only parent of a dog who had expressed such concern - he was able to convince me that both Becca and I would do just fine separated for the one night.

So Becca and I kissed and I went home.

About an hour and a half later I received a call from Doc. His first words were to assure me that Becca was O.K. but that he thought I best pick her up as she was going to be a miserable little gal all night long at his kennel. He explained that when they put her in the kennel and shut the door she became very upset trying to bite the transfusion line and acting pretty scared. Not surprising to me as Becca as a mere baby, had spent some time as a little street tramp. Looking like a dirty little wooly mammoth, she was picked up on the streets and had lived in a noisy shelter in Pascagoula, Mississippi. I adopted Becca shortly after she was rescued by Furrever Homes in South Alabama. I was convinced the memory of that traumatic experience had brought on a sudden case of PTSD.

So, Becca has eaten a little supper and is now sitting in my lap as I write about our day. She is feeling better – getting an infusion of red blood cells will do that for both human and dog. I am feeding and watering her a little at a time to avoid another episode of vomit. I will follow up with her regular Vet tomorrow to see if there is anything further we need to do, or if her body will gradually rid itself of the zinc toxicity and Heinz bodies on its own. I am sure she will need follow-up blood work but hope that can all be done under something other than emergency conditions.

I hope that those of you who have dogs, especially young dogs prone to picking things up off the floor, have read to this point. Zinc toxicity and the subsequent Heinz body hemolytic anemia can be deadly. This has all been news to me, and I am passing this information on to you. Toy metal cars that little boys play with can be made with zinc, and dogs will swallow them. Pennies now made with zinc fall on the floor and are not always found. Pennies are expendable – drop one on the ground and most people don’t bother to pick it up. But please be alert to anything on your floor if you have a dog, especially a young dog since they are just like babies and love to put things in their mouths. Sometimes they have no intention of swallowing, but if you have one anything like Becca, and it thinks you are trying to take it away, it will swallow it in a flash.

I sure hope that dust bunnies don’t cause illness in dogs, or people..…


Street Talk

Interesting article Vivian, am glad Becca is recovering. All pet owners should be alert to changes in their pets behavior.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Thank you for the comment Christine! Becca is still doing great, her gums are nice and pink - and I check those gums every week just to be sure. She is so rambunctious that I wonder if the blood donor dog might have been a Jack Russell! Thanks for following, and I have followed you back.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
Nancykaye  

I'm glad she's doing well now. I think she's going to be fine. After all she must have had that penny in for some time and now it's gone.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
Nancykaye  

Thanks. I learned something from that.I guess cats can do that too. I hope Becca's back to normal now.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Thanks Nancy. Yes, I am sure that cats would be susceptible to zinc toxicity and Heinz Bodies. Becca does appear to be back to normal, but I was told that the red blood cells she received in the transfusion would last 90 to 100 days and I should watch her closely around that time. If those cells die off and she is not producing her own red blood cells, then I imagine we are facing another problem. But so far, her gums are still looking really pink, and she is very active and always into something! Thanks ao much for the comment!

Reply
  about 5 years ago
Nessa   

Thank God for vets and thank God Becca has a good mommy :-) I hate it when something happens to my pets because they are my babies. It hurts me to see them in pain. I'm glad that your baby has recovered :-)

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Thank you, thank you Nessa! Your kind words are so appreciated!

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Poor Becca.. It`s just a good thing you decided to take action as soon as you did!

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Thanks Chip! Without that penny showing up in the throw-up, it would have been more difficult to pinpoint the cause. Am so thankful that the penny showed up!

Reply
  about 5 years ago

It's good that you have a vet on duty to take emergency calls during off hours. I had to use the emergency clinic here a few years ago when I returned from Nashville one Friday night to find something was terribly wrong with one of Ian's eyes. We immediately took him to the clinic. Diagnosis: an ulcer that went all the way to his retina, probably caused by getting shampoo in his eye. Lucky me, a veterinary ophthalmologist from Jacksonville happened to be at the clinic for the week-end and he performed emergency eye surgery that night. (This vet or his partner comes to Pensacola every third week-end.) Cost: over $1,000 -- a shock to my system, but he saved Ian's eye. I'm glad that Becca is recovering. I can relate to how much you sweet companion means to you.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Thanks Mary B for the comment. I guess our weekend vets work out same as an emergency clinic would. The vets that participate have their own individual practices. If we have an emergency on the weekend, we call our regular vet. The call rings into an answering service used by the group of vets participating in the "on call" weekend. The vet who is on duty that weekend then calls you back. If he feels he should see the pet, then you go to his clinic - not your regular vet's clinic. This set-up has been a blessing for animal owners and I am sure the vets like it also. The call is an 'emergency' call so the price is definitely a bit more than the regular hours cost. Seems to me you and Ian were real lucky that a veterinary ophthalmologist was at the clinic that particular week-end. Animals can get expensive!

Reply
  about 5 years ago
Cena  

Hi Vivian, great article! As pet owner, need to pay attention of pet that unusual changes. I learn something new. Thanks

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Thanks for the comment Cena and I am so glad that you and others have learned something new. I did also! Who would have thought a penny could have caused such a horrible health problem?

Reply
  about 5 years ago
Cena  

Hi Vivian, great article! As pet owner, need to pay attention of pet that unusual changes. I learn something new. Thanks

Reply
  about 5 years ago

This is a great article! Thank you for sharing the information about Becca and her penny. All mothers with young children should read the article, too.

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Thanks for your comment Georgette! So glad to share this information with others.

Reply
  about 5 years ago
Kali Webb  

Another informative, great article. I just lost a 9 year old cat who went downhill very fast after disappearing into the forest for a couple of days. I thought she might have been bitten by some creature, but what you've described makes me wonder if she didn't eat a coin. I am bad about pennies on the floor next to the night stand. Now I feel worse thinking it was something my carelessness might have caused. I felt better thinking she had been bitten by a snake or something. Still, this is good information as I still have lots of other little creatures roaming around the house. Kali

Reply
  about 5 years ago

Try not to feel bad about your kitty Kali....how many of us know of what a simple penny can do to our pets? The Vet on Call rang me up yesterday to inquire how Becca was doing - which was a very kind and thoughtful thing to do. In the conversation he remarked again how fortunate we were that Becca threw up the penny - otherwise it would not have been so easy to figure out what was going on with her. It would have been trial and error and possibly a lot of lost and very valuable time. Because Becca was not eating, I had offered her some canned chicken (you know chicken comes canned like tuna does) and she ate the whole thing. The next morning when she threw up that chicken had not digested at all. I believe the bulk of the undigested food caught the penny - without that bulk, the penny probably would not have come up. At that point where food was not digesting, her system was already shutting down from the toxicity, Heinz Bodies and lack of blood. When blood gets that thin, it does not coagulate and if she had needed surgery to remove more pennies it is likely she could have bled out. I am so glad that I did write of the experience because at least a few more animal lovers can learn something new about protecting their pets. Keep those floors clean of pennies, or little metal toys that can contain zinc! Thanks Kali!

Reply
  about 5 years ago
You May Also Like
Reasons to Choose A Patient Driving Instructor Weston - super - mare
Individuals who would like to make the learning how to drive process enjoyable should start by hiring a competent, friendly Driving Instructor Weston-super-Mare. The instructor you choose to work with should ensure you make the most of your Driving Lessons Weston-super-Mare and he should make sure you do not waste…
By: Sheraton Veranda in  Pets  >  Dogs   Jun 05, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Is Alpo Dog Food Possibly One Of The Best Dog Food Brands Ever?
A well known and loved brand – Alpo, which is short for Allen Products, was founded way back in 1936 in Pennsylvania, and is now owned by Nestle. With such a long history, customers where rightly concerned when the brand was affected by the large scale product recalls in 2007.…
By: Mike Nash in  Pets  >  Dogs   Jun 02, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

A Merry Hound - The Beagle
Beagles were developed as scent hounds and used to hunt rabbits and small prey. Today, this popular breed is used for hunting, pet therapy, "sniffing" dogs for law enforcement, and as family pets. This is one of the most popular dogs in the United States due to the temperament and…
By: Doug Fabick in  Pets  >  Dogs   Jun 02, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

How to Get the Best Food From the Renowned Pet Food Supplier In Stoke –on - trent?
The nutritional requirements of the pet animals are different from that of humans. Hence, picking the best pet food from the pet food supplier in Stoke-On-Trent takes effort and thought. All the pet owners are advised to go through the labels to get an idea of the ingredients. Moreover, they…
By: aby in  Pets  >  Dogs   Jun 02, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Find the Best Accommodation for Your Cat With Cattery Stoke - on - Trent
Online information provides a good resource for cat owners who need to find an adequate cattery Stoke-on-Trent. Get some tips to help you with online selection! Not any cattery Stoke-on-Trent offers the best bedding services and proper care for the cats that must be accommodated. If you are concerned about…
By: Johny Danes in  Pets  >  Dogs   Jun 02, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

How to Find the Best Pet Food Supplier In Stoke - on - Trent
Pet-lovers will always agree that when it comes to selecting the right nutrition and supplements, the options is huge and varied. With numerous Pet Food Supplier In Stoke-On-Trent and local shops selling variety of tins, cartons and packs of Animal Feeds Stoke-On-Trent, it is obvious to get confused about which…
By: Johny Danes in  Pets  >  Dogs   Jun 02, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Training Your New Puppy Or Dog
It is very important to start training your new puppy as soon as possible, the best is to start when you bring him home. The puppy training can be done yourself or you can hire a professional trainer. Often you could find a local dog training classes. Ask your veterinarian…
By: Daniel39 in  Pets  >  Dogs   May 31, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Healthy Dog Snacks From Your Refrigerator!
We all want to keep our pets healthy and happy so if we could replace those high fat packaged treats you buy at the local grocer with a treat to make your pets health and immune system stronger we’d jump at the opportunity. Our dogs can also benefit from healthy…
By: LGoguen in  Pets  >  Dogs   May 31, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

About Benefits Of Microchipping Your Pet
Pets are delightful companions to many owners young and old. However, some pets may tend to get lost outside the home if proper monitoring is not exercised. It is very sad for the pet owner to lose a pet which has been a faithful companion for some time. Hence, it…
By: Nicole T Doss in  Pets  >  Dogs   May 28, 2016  
0
  Likes: 1

The Day We Got Duchess
My husband and I had always wanted to have a dog but we thought we would wait until we retired so someone would always be home. I thought about a small dog but Tony, my husband, had his heart set on a big dog so we got a big one.…
By: sharon vacelli3 in  Pets  >  Dogs   May 24, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

House Training A Puppy: Do's And Don'ts
Puppy’s digestive tract A built-in plus when it comes to house training a puppy’s digestive tract, which is extremely quick and efficient. Five to 30 minutes after the puppy eats, she’ll want to defecate. So with a consistent eating schedule, and your attention to the clock, your puppy can maintain…
By: Daniel39 in  Pets  >  Dogs   May 24, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

How To Keep Your Dog's Teeth Healthy And Strong
How to keep your dog's teeth clean is a real challenge under any circumstances. So this article will be focused on dog tartar remover and looking after your dog's teeth, ensuring that they are healthy and strong? I mean, we humans always make sure to take good care of ours…
By: Donna11 in  Pets  >  Dogs   May 23, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Training Your Boxer Puppy
Training a boxer puppy is not that of a hard work and it even could be a wonderful thing as Boxers are normally extremely friendly, family companion dogs and easy to train. Boxers got a unique and outstanding blend of playful and happy personality, high intelligence, and flexibility. They are…
By: Daniel39 in  Pets  >  Dogs   May 21, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Yorkshire Terriers - The Big Dog Of Little Dogs
Yorkshire Terriers (Yorkies) are intelligent, self assured, and protective little dogs. They make great companions for older adults and serve well as watch dogs. This companion dog, requires mental and physical exercise, and daily attention to its coat. The breed does not realize it's small stature and will take on…
By: Doug Fabick 1 in  Pets  >  Dogs   May 17, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Hire Puppy Care Services to Take Good Care Of Your Pets
Canines are extraordinary pets and at times are more unique even than a relative. It is crucial for you to make extra arrangements in the event that you are going to set on a travel trip for a couple days and difficult to bring your pet with you. These are…
By: familypetcare in  Pets  >  Dogs   May 16, 2016  
0
  Likes: 0

Article Views: 1889    Report this Article