Chairman Bao is a Shih Tzu. We travel a lot. I drive. He watches. We've logged at least 10,000 miles and he's never once said, Sweetheart, don't you think you should stop and ask someone?

Tuesday, May 08, 2007


Bao had a seizure yesterday.

Several years ago, when we still lived in South Florida, he was poisoned. It was in a shop on Lincoln Road in Miami. I went in to look at a dress, and although I noticed the awful smell coming from the newly-finished, shiny wood floors I didn't put two and two together until it was too late and Bao had collapsed, writhing and spasming, his back arched. It was horrible. I didn't know what had happened, and I didn't know what to do.

"That's exactly what happened to our cat, yesterday" remarked the Sale Assistant. "And then it died."

Picking Bao up in my arms, I fled out into the fresh air and I sat down on a bench, holding him close. Bao was trembling, but he was still conscious, looking up at me with those big eyes as if to ask, What's happening? There were people all around, but nobody stopped to help or even ask what was wrong. I mean, it was South Florida. A row of human beings could fall over dead on Lincoln Road, and none of the Sunday morning fashionistas would so much as bat a mascara-laden eye. So we sat there, and in less than a minute Bao had stopped trembling and was wriggling and trying to get down. When I put him on the pavement he gave himself a shake and that was that.

Whew! Narrow escape.

But when it happened again three months later, I took him to the vet. Seizures are sometimes symptoms, I was told. Happily, blood tests ruled out possible disease. So yes, the stuff from the floor was probably the culprit. It might still be in his system although perhaps over time, it would work its way out. We'd just have to wait and see.

Sure enough, the seizures became less and less frequent and less and less severe. Yesterday's episode was the first in months. It was mild, it didn't last long, and as you can see, Bao is fine.

But we sometimes forget that dogs -- especially little dogs -- are much closer to the ground than we are, and much more vulnerable to inhaling potentially poisonous chemical fumes from floor coatings, carpet cleaners and even certain detergents. So be careful.

2 Comments:

Blogger FleasGang said...

I bet that was really scary. I didn't know that by just sniffing floor cleaner it could cause small ones to have a seizure. We'll definitely be more careful in the future. Thanks for the heads-up :-)

The FleasGang

12:52 PM

 
Blogger Dogwalkmusings said...

My gosh, Gail, you scared me half to death! Thank heavens the little guy is okay!

12:55 PM

 

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