Tuesday, February 7, 2012


Meet our sweet little Jack Russell puppy Gertrude aka Gertie.

Just look at that sweet face you can't help but love this little butter ball.  She is a ring tailed tooter who will get your attention if you aren't giving her enough loving.

Today however was a whole different ballgame for little Gertie.

Our family spends spring break at Lake Amistad every year.  My relatives have an amazing lake house!! It is by far the best place to relax, I might be a little partial but it is definitely heaven on earth as far as I'm concerned.

Last year my parents Jack Russell Cornbread had a bit of a dismal spring break. The landscape at the house is magnificent, there are several different varieties of citrus trees and tons of native and tropical vegetation.

We decided to spend one afternoon working out in the yard to clean up what the harsh freezing winter killed.  During the trimming and clearing process Cornbread found what he thought to be a fun pokey plant to play with however after ingesting some of this plants thorny little leaves he was not such the ball of energy.

The plant he ate was a Sago Palm, sold at every retail store that dabbles in landscaping.

Sago palms are full of toxic poison; mostly in the seed pods but every part of the plant carries the poison.  Poor little Cornbread was poisoned from eating the sago palm in the yard at the lake house.  Due to the severity of this toxic poison Cornbread had to spend several weeks in the animal hospital.  Luckily my dads brother and his wife are both veterinarians so they were able to save him.

So I should know better than to have a sego palm at my house!
Yesterday morning Gertie decided it would be a good idea to chew on the sego palm I have on our back porch.  At three this morning she woke us up dry heaving, whimpering and shivering.  I jumped up and knew something was wrong immediately.  The first thoughts to cross my mind were Parvo but then I remembered seeing the chewed up plant leaves on the back porch, the dreaded sego palm.  Not certain what we were dealing with Sam and I both looked up as much information as we could find on the internet.

If you have pets or small children get rid of your sago palm! After some internet/google research I found that the "toxins in the plant lead to severe liver failure with progressive weakness, jaundice, bruising and bleeding and other signs of liver failure that can lead to death." 

Gertie had no interest in eating or drinking so we knew we had to keep her hydrated.  Sam went to the grocery store and feed store for some pedialyte and syringes.  We fed her a raw egg and pedialyte through that syringe until she wouldn't take anymore.

At 8 I called my wonderful veterinarian uncle and he gave me some tips: inject 15 cc's of sterile fluids subcutaneous (under the skin) every three hours and 1/2 cc of penicillin daily.  This info is what I think saved Gertie's life.

At lunch Sam and I talked and decided after our vet attempts if we wanted her to live we had better get her to the vet.  Sam loaded up Gertie and headed for the vet a mere 100 miles away.  Remember we live in that remote piece of paradise in the middle of nowhere.

They rushed to get an IV going and took her temperature.  She was now in professional care so Sam headed back to paradise.

At 5 we got a call from the vet, Gertie has parvo not sego palm poisoning. She is going to stay in the compassionate care of the vet until she is better.  Lets hope for a fast recovery!

I know I don't have kids yet but I can definitely say going without sleep all day and being worried about out little puppy has got to be pretty close to having children.

So please say a little prayer for our precious Gertie!!


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