A week ago our nearly one year old dachshund mix, Fry, decided that snacking on a pack of sugarless gum was an excellent idea. Thank goodness I caught him in the act, and thank goodness I'd read an article about dogs and sugarless gum MONTHS ago, because this brand of gum uses Xylitol as a sugar substitute. According to what I'd read before, and have read since, even small amounts of Xylitol can cause seizures and collapse, even liver failure and death, in dogs within 30 minutes of ingestion. Being the non-crisis-handling person that I am, I started to panic. This was late Sunday afternoon and when I called the closest vet and explained what happened, they said there was only one vet on staff and she couldn't see Fry anytime soon. She suggested we take him to the emergency vet clinic, because Fry needed to have vomiting induced before he digested any more of the gum.
We're lucky enough to only live ten minutes from the 24-hour emergency vet clinic, and I was ready to put him in the car and rush him up there, when my dad asked if I'd looked online to find any way to induce vomiting. I stopped in my tracks, because it hadn't even occurred to me to attempt treating Fry myself. In normal circumstances I like to read up on home remedies for myself or my dogs before going to the doctor or vet, but my brain was in panic mode and I hadn't thought of anything but having the emergency vet treat him. I did a Google search as fast as possible, hoping that I wasn't wasting precious minutes. Within seconds I'd found several sites with multiple ways listed, and the quickest, easiest one simply instructed me to feed him two teaspoons of 3% hydrogen peroxide (one teaspoon per pound of body weight). Two teaspoons and 30 seconds later, and up came the minty fresh contents of Fry's gut. An hour later, he was running and playing, and I was utterly relieved to have a healthy puppy and no vet bill. I would have taken him to the vet no matter how much it cost, but let's face it, emergency vet visits are NOT cheap, and my bank account has dwindled to spare change while I await my first measly paycheck. I would've had to put it on one of the credit cards I'm trying so hard to pay down. Well, crisis averted!