Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Dogs + asparagus ferns = Bad morning

Liam the pug looking queasy
Liam looking suitably miserable.
It's no secret that pugs are loud little dogs. They snuffle, groan, snort, wheeze and make other unmentionable sounds in the middle of the night. When Liam was a puppy, every little noise he made would send me into a panic, and I'd look in his mouth to ensure he wasn't eating something he shouldn't eat or chewing something I thought didn't need chewing.

Now that he's 5, I've started to ignore some of these noises.

It's a mistake I need to correct.

Before the move, I had an asparagus fern locked away in a room that was rarely used. The pets didn't have access to it unless I was there, and the plant pretty much grew unmolested, and it's pretty awesome now, as a result. After the move, I decided to showcase my green thumb by placing the fern in the living room, which is a highly trafficked area.

This morning, the smack-smack from the living room was Liam eating a part of this plant. He didn't manage to eat very much, but he did choke down a tiny bit of a stem before I made it into the room. Turns out, according to ASPCA, that this fern is considered toxic. Dogs who eat these ferns can develop vomiting, stomach pain or diarrhea.

Liam got two out of three, and I spent the morning listening to him cough and heave, while gigantic amounts of drool came pouring out of his little mouth. Fun times. I gave him Pepto Bismol (following dosage guidelines found here) and figured I'd give him 30 minutes to improve before I called a cab and took him to the emergency vet. Thankfully, his symptoms resolved before that time came.

Tonight, I am spraying that plant down with Grannick's Bitter Apple Spray. This stuff has a sickly sweet smell, but apparently, the taste is really foul. Whenever I use it on the plants, all of the pets won't go near them. For less than $10, it's a good investment. If that doesn't work, looks like my beloved fern will go up on the free side of Craigslist. I'm just hoping it doesn't come to that.

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