Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Did I ever tell you the one about Wynonna's accidental drug overdose?

I think not. So now's as good a time as any.


It was February 12, 2001. I was living on a little ranchette about 35 miles east of Albuquerque. Wynonna was almost five years old. I was pet-sitting my friend's incontinent Rhodesian Ridgeback, Winnie, at the time. Also in residence were two yellow labs, two goats, two horses, and three cats. So, yeah, I was kind of busy at feeding time.

Anyway, Wynonna came into the garage for her breakfast while I went out to the barn to feed the horses and scoop poop. When I came back to the garage about 15 minutes later, Wynonna was still eating. Hmm. How odd. Then I realized that she wasn't eating her pig food, she was eating pills! Pills that had been in a prescription bottle with a child-but-not-pig-proof lid, that had been atop a large container of Winnie's dog food, that Wynonna had knocked over. The pills were Phenylpropanolamine, which Winnie was taking for her urinary incontinence.

I had no idea how many pills were in the bottle to begin with, nor how many Wynonna had consumed, but I spent the next half hour on the phone trying to find out – unsuccessfully – while juggling calls to veterinarians, poison control, and a bunch of other people who answered their phone only to hear me say, "my pig has O.D.'d!"

All of those frantic calls resulted in a game plan. My friend Kim would go to the local vet's office, pick up a huge dose of powdered charcoal, then bring it to my house, where we would somehow manage to squirt it into Wynonna's mouth, then load her into a dog crate, then load the dog crate into my jeep, then I would drive to Albuquerque, then a new vet who specializes in "exotics" would try to save Wynonna's life. Is your heart racing yet? Mine is.

Meanwhile, Wynonna was definitely feeling the effects of the Phenylpropanolamine, which, according to Wikipedia, "acts as a potent and selective releasing agent of norepinephrine or epinephrine," whatever that means. For Wynonna, it meant she was anxious, jittery, restless, and walking around really fast. Sort of like me if I drink 10 pots of coffee.

So Kim finally gets to my house with her 3-year-old daughter in tow. We squirt the charcoal in Wynonna's mouth, while Wynonna is SCREAMING, and Kim's daughter is SCREAMING, and my heart is beating so fast I'm probably having a heart attack but don't have time to realize it.


I get Wynonna to the vet in Albuquerque. He sedates her, puts her on an IV overnight, and I pick her up the next day and she's perfectly fine. He warns me that she might suffer liver damage, and we'd need to keep an eye on her blood pressure (though I don't recall him telling me exactly how we would do that...I'm still trying to picture Wynonna with a blood-pressure cuff on her stubby little leg).

Bottom line, here it is 11 years later and Wynonna has no lasting effects from her accidental drug overdose ... except for maybe her attitude. She has been remarkably healthy and is the quintessential easy keeper.

But a few weeks ago, Wynonna started to squeak. The noise appears to be tooth- or gum-related, and it's getting louder by the day. I called the vet last Friday to schedule an appointment. I asked him if there was a sedative I could give a 16-year-old pig who hasn't traveled in 6-and-a-half years who is going to be really mad and stressed out when I stuff her into a dog crate and load her into the truck to take her to town. He said no. He also said, "16? Really?"

So I'm counting down the hours until our appointment this Friday (and not in a good way). I'm reasonably confident that I can get Wynonna into the truck in the same way I took Willie the goat to the vet a few years ago. The vet will sedate her, check her mouth, and pull a tooth or do whatever needs doing. And once we're back home Friday afternoon, I'm sure I'll be able to look back on the whole episode and laugh ...




...but Wynonna's stink-eye may become permanent.

30 comments:

  1. Awww, Poor Wynonna. I always run the other direction at the mention of having a tooth pulled.

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  2. Wynonna ain' gon' be happee.

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  3. Good luck getting Wynonna to the vet. I wouldn't want to have that job.

    Phenylpropanolamine used to be available in over the counter diet aids. I believe they require a prescription now, but in my younger days I tried them--not a pleasant experience. Maybe Wynonna was worried about her figure?

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  4. This was on CNN.com this morning... no kidding!


    http://www.fox5vegas.com/story/16977875/pot-bellied-pig-recovers-from-drug-overdose?hpt=us_bn7

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  5. Oh dear. Hope everything goes well for your trip to the vet.

    Reminds me of the time our Miniature Schnauzer Wilbur helped himself to a full box of 28 Turtle candies on the computer table. He got very sick and even hallucinated (barked repeatedly at the "moving" lamp post!) but we lived through it with the help of a tsp. of salt to induce vomiting. Poor dog. Didn't learn though as he would do it again if given the chance.

    Good luck. I see a blog post about the upcoming journey. :)

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  6. Poor Wynonna. Hope it all goes well at the vet. I sympathize with her I don't like getting my teeth worked on either.

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  7. Oh, my! I'll be thinking about you and Wynonna on Friday!

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  8. Looks like she has other ideas about loading easily for a trip to the vet...

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  9. You are so resourceful with the ladder system. If she's too heavy, maybe a pulley and some help from the equines! Can't wait to hear how it goes.

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  10. Estella from Co.2/22/12, 6:55 AM

    Will you give Wynonna a bath before you take her to the vet.? I do hope she's feeling better and look forward to hearing how things go. Soooo very glad the over dose had no lasting effects. Hugs

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  11. Who is going to be your "Kim" for this loading/trip to the vet?
    I hope it goes smoothly and Wy comes home happy and less squeaky.

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  12. This little piggy went to the dentist. A new line for an old poem.
    I hope all goes well.
    Best always, Sandra

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  13. Um, I know you are a DIY queen, Carson, (I'm still in awe of your chicken winter palace project) but is there anyone around who could come over and give you a hand with the the Piggy Princess? Just worried for your back (I'm not implying anything, Wynonna!) Hugs and kisses for her, poor baby. I hate that she is having tooth issues. That is so uncomfortable. Hugs for the rest of you as well, I imagine your nerves might be a little strained by the time this is over. Whew! I feel your pain, I have to take my mini-dachshund for acupuncture regularly. She does not appreciate this and expresses her royal displeasure very, very clearly. I feel like a heel every time.

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  14. Poor baby. I wish there was a mobile/traveling vet that could come to YOU! I know the travel is traumatic at the very least. I'll be keeping you and baby Wy in my prayers...I love her!

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  15. I'm not sure who I feel more sorry for; you or Wynonna.
    I'll be thinking about you on Friday. I hope it all is easy-peasy!

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  16. Oh, that last photo is PRICELESS. I can think of 100 captions for it.

    I laughed out loud so hard at "my pig ODed" I hurt myself a little. I hope the old girl gets her squeak under control, that must be terribly embarrassing for her.

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  17. poor Wy.
    I overdosed one of my Saints Bernards one time. She was an lunatic when it came to having her nails cut so the vet gave me Valium 5mg. He said give her 5. So I gave her 5, 5 mg. Oh my. Her skin looked like it was falling off of her head. She was so relaxed, needless to say and I had to try to walk and exercise an almost comatose giant dog. It was the scariest day of my life thinking I had poisoned and killed my sweet Annabelle. Yikes. So I can "feel" your story.
    Hope all goes well with hoisting the porcine princess into the vehicle. Oma Linda

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  18. Poor Wynona! Poor you! If I lived closer, I would be there in a second to help you.

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  19. Carol in Colorado2/22/12, 11:02 AM

    Poor Linda. I don't know how much Wynonna weighs but I feel for your back. Wynonna, I hope the vet visit goes well and you get some good drugs to help. Maybe ask the vet for some for Mom too, she may need them after she gets home.

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  20. What kind of music does Wynonna like? My other thought was the amount of time driving to and from the vet with Wy in the backseat area. Guess it's too cold for her to ride in the truck bed. Do think about your back while loading/unloading. Some extra hands would certiainly be helpful!

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  21. Good luck getting her loaded...I know that an hr before I had to load up 'Buddy', to take him the vet for a checkup my nerves got real serious! But all was well, and he loaded way better for the ride home! LOL I am glad Wynonna did not have any lasting effects. Look forward to your post about the trip to the doc....

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  22. Wish I could send my Mike, who is used to lifting freight, to help you with Wynonna. Hadn't had a Wynonna update in a while, hope all goes well.

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  23. Oh my. Having listened to the screams of potbellied pigs, I am quite sure we shall hear Wynonna all the way up here in Canada.

    Does she have to be fasted before going in, in case of dental surgery? If not, I've usually been very successful at getting potbellies to walk up a ramp to a crate in a vehicle simply by laying a trail of a really highly-valued treat like peanuts in the shell or licorise allsorts or mini-marshmallows.

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  24. Oh, as for her opening a child-proof lid, I've had piggies break out of their stall and trash the barn by getting into bear-proof feed containers. There ain't nothing a piggy won't do for food (or drugs, apparently). Naughty pigs!

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  25. HOPE its not too bad an ordeal for her or You! Good luck.

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  26. Good heavens!! What a crazy OD. I can't even imagine.
    I hear 16 is getting up there for pigs. She's a great girl and you take excellent care of her. Wish I could be there to film you loading her up, lol. That's gonna be good stuff!!

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  27. Interesting blog! My companion got his pigs drunk when he was young. His job at a cafe was to empty all the beer bottles and put them in cases. He saved the beer and gave it all to his pigs. Needless to say his Daddy gave him a whipping.

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  28. I hope she feels fine. You'd think a vet for a pig would make ranch calls.

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  29. I know it's the weekend, but we need an update. How did things go at the vet with Wynonna? I hope she's home and recovering from whatever he did with all the comforts that you will no doubt give her. Sixteen years old - wow!

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