Dogs Eat the Strangest Things, Part 1,000,001

 |  Jan 24th 2010  |   0 Contributions


I hadn't heard of coffee ground logs until the other day. Apparently they are a popular winter item at places like Whole Foods. When a client called a few days ago and said that her Fox Terrier had eaten a portion of one I wasn't sure what to make of the situation.

The client stated that the dog was twitching and behaving abnormally. That meant he needed to come in.

When the dog arrived it was clear that he was under the effects of caffeine. He was agitated and vocal. He trembled continuously (this isn't exactly abnormal for a Fox Terrier at a veterinary office, but in this case the tremors were extreme). He was jittery and cranky. Clearly he wasn't a regular coffee drinker--he couldn't hold his caffeine very well at all.

A brief chat with the owners revealed that coffee ground logs are eco-friendly (and canine-unfriendly) fireplace logs. They consist of used, dried coffee grounds pressed together in the shape of a log.

The owners were not sure how much of the log the dog had consumed. None of us had any idea how much caffeine was in the log. However, high doses of caffeine can cause seizures, heart palpitations, and death in dogs.

We decided to induce emesis (in other words, to make the dog throw up). An intravenous injection of "old reliable", aka apomorphine, was administered.

The dog began to vomit. First came some undigested kibble with a few coffee grounds. Then came pure coffee grounds. Then more coffee grounds. Then more, and more, and more.

The Fox Terrier had eaten enough coffee to kill a Mastiff. Fortunately, his vomiting got it out of his system. We kept him overnight to monitor for further symptoms. None occurred. He is now back to his normal life in his newly free-of-coffee-ground-logs home.

But now I know, and I'm warning you, that coffee ground logs are hazardous to pets.

Photo: "Honey, have you seen the coffee?"

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