Saga of a woman old enough to know better who lets her life be governed by the ridiculous hobby of breeding and showing dogs, musing on life, the twenty first century, Cameron and his mini-me, and the occasional sheep.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


Yes, I should have been at East of England. The shampoos (3) were laid out and being eyed nervously by Merlin, and everything was packed for the show when I went out to keep a Health Centre Appointment.

When I got back, two hours later, I let them all out in a great rush for the outdoors - except for Solitiare, who staggered out, salivating unbelievably and twitching all over.

Straight to vet. Where I was told that it must be metaldehyde poisoning, prognosis death. I suppose it was a classic case of "this is what I usually see, so this is what she has. " I was more or less invited to take her home to die, but I insisted that she be treated. She was taken off and put on a drip, and given diazepam....

And I went home, wondering where on earth she would have found slug pellets, which I only use on the high wall and pedestal planters which the dogs can`t reach. I wandered about, checking my pills, and going back out in the quest for pellets - and then I spotted it.

It had been a lupin, a tiny one, bought at the Pound Shop and brought on in a pot. Now it was a potful of stems. No leaves at all. I knew that the seeds are poisonous, but didn`t suspect the plant. Till now.

I phoned the duty vet and told her I had a potful of lupin stems. I could hear her brighten up at the end of the phone. Clearly it had been a boring day up to now. She said that Solitiare was no worse, so it was unlikely to be metaldehyde, and she would now go and look up lupins.

We both did. The symptoms seemed to fit. It appeared that Solitaire had had a little snack before I left. An unfortunate one, but probably not fatal. I was enormously relieved.

The vet said that the toxin had a half life of 6 hours, and that by then she should show improvment, and by 12 hours the toxins should have been flushed out of her system.

And so it proved to be. At 10pm, just when I should be leaving for the show, a call came to tell me that she had stopped shakng, could walk in a co-ordinated manner, and was eating. Just on the 12 hours. She would be kept in for the night and sent home in the morning if there was no relapse.

In the morning there was a further call. She had begun to shake uncontrollably again. Did I think that the presence of an angry and excited male Boxer in the cage opposite could have anything to do with it.....? I assured them that the Boxer would have a much worse effect on her than any lupin.

And she came home, not at all worried by her adventure - mind you she had spent most of it zonked out on diazepam - but offended that her leg had been shaved for the drip. She kept on showing me it, holding it up at ear height with an aggrieved expression. Not the slightest idea of how ill she had been. Or how dreadfully upset I had been.

But she seems to be quite recovered now.

Which is more than can be said for the lupin.
Wow, you must have been worried sick! I'm so glad Solitaire is allright. She looks quite sorry for herself in that photo... :)
Oh, goodness. I'm glad everything came out OK.

Well, except for the plant.

Give her a hug (and throw in an extra one for my favorite Boris).
I really don`t think Solitaire remembers much of it at all - except the Boxer maybe...but she got a lot of hugs anyway.
How frightening! So glad she's OK!
Really scary. I thought I had lost her. And I will never know what possessed her to eat the lupin leaves
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