Bluey’s owners knew something was wrong with their one-year-old rescue dog the instant they realised she had wet her bed on Saturday night.
The Power family’s concerns escalated when she then urinated uncontrollably on Sunday morning, with a Google search suggesting she could be suffering from a serious kidney problem.
Their suspicions were proven correct after arriving at the vet, where a blood test revealed Bluey had gone into renal failure – a condition caused by her consumption of several pain killer tablets.
“After a quick hunt around the house we discovered the culprit which was just a generic pack of 50 Ibuprofen that I’d bought on Saturday and left on the kitchen counter,” Tiffany Power, from McLeans Ridges near Byron Bay, NSW, told Yahoo News Australia.
Being a big 30kg dog, Bluey was able to snatch the packet from the counter and chow into them, possibly thinking they were a treat of some kind.
“She managed to chew through the five sleeves containing 10 pills each, but we don’t know how many pills she consumed because it was a mushy mess by the time I found the box,” Mrs Power said.
Bluey had been vomiting and was lethargic as the family raced her to the vet, where a staff member gave the family a realistic idea of their expected outcome, telling them it could go either way.
“The vet was very honest, he said he couldn’t guarantee her survival,” she said, with Bluey being put on dialysis to give her kidneys a chance to recover.
“Fortunately she responded well to the treatment and they did a blood test 24 hours later. Her renal markers had risen from zero to 22 per cent.”
By Wednesday night, Bluey’s kidney function had reached 30 per cent - the magic number that allowed her family-of-six to have her back home.
While the prognosis for her future seems positive – providing she continues to respond well to medication – Bluey will likely have reduced kidney function for the rest of her life, Mrs Power said.
The Power family, undoubtedly among many others, were unaware of the dangers posed by Ibuprofen and other over-the-counter medications when it came to their pets.
According to their vet however, pills are the source of countless cases of heartbreak.
“He said in his 20 years [of being a vet] he’s lost count of the number of cases he’s seen in terms of Ibuprofen toxicity in dogs, and unfortunately a lot of them don’t make it,” Mrs Power said.
She has now urged other families to be alert to the dangers of Ibuprofen, in a message she hopes will prevent them from having the same experience they had with Bluey.
“Keep them out of reach. We know about it with children, but we tend to overlook our fur babies and the toxicity it can cause to them too.
“I had no idea, it never crossed my mind when I was unpacking the shopping, that 24 hours later my dog was going to be on death’s door because of a pack of Ibuprofen I left on the kitchen counter.”
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