Partying Pooch Downs 15 Jell-O Shots on New Year’s Eve!
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People tend to overindulge during the holidays, particularly on New Year’s Eve, but their pets don’t usually join the party. Tyler Kronstedt of Andover, Minn. and his fiancé returned home from a New Year’s Eve celebration last year tired from the trip and, as it turned out, feeling the effects of undiagnosed Covid.
“My fiancé and I had gone into the cities (Minneapolis/St. Paul) for New Year’s Eve, and we had made a bunch of Jell-O shots to take with us,” said Kronstedt. “It had been a long week, and we came home in a travel and Covid haze with 15 left-over shots in a plastic bag. My fiancé was going to throw them away, but the bag got left on the kitchen floor when we went to bed.”
“About 3 a.m., I heard my dog Red making a bunch of noise,” explained Kronstedt. “When I got downstairs, I found he had gotten into the bag and there were red Jell-O shots scattered throughout the entire living room. He was stumbling around drunk, staggering upstairs and walking into walls. We called the Blue Pearl Pet Hospital in Duluth, Minn., and they recommended we call the toxicology experts at Pet Poison Helpline.”
“Ingestion of alcohol can cause GI upset, sedation, ataxia, hypoglycemia and respiratory depression,” said Dr. Renee Schmid, a senior veterinary toxicologist at Pet Poison Helpline. “The amount of alcohol Red consumed was of concern and we recommended an immediate veterinary evaluation. When he arrived at Blue Pearl, he was hypoglycemic (low blood sugar), which was corrected with intravenous dextrose supplementation. This can be life-threatening if not treated.”
“Once we got Red to Blue Pearl, they placed him on an IV for hydration and gave him anti-nausea medication,” added Kronstedt. “It’s a good thing he is such a big dog, at 85-90 pounds. If I had swallowed that many shots, I would have been wasted too. He’s normally very good and doesn’t get into the trash. The only reason he got into it that night was because we left it on the kitchen floor for him to find. We couldn’t afford to keep Red in the hospital for observation, so the Blue Pearl and Pet Poison Helpline team told us what symptoms to watch for and we took him home. I laid next to him on the floor overnight, waking up every hour to make sure he drank water and tried to eat something. He was back to normal the next day.” Since there was concern with the hypoglycemia returning, feeding a small amount of food frequently can help minimize the severity.
“Red’s Jell-O shot adventure had a happy ending, but it could have taken a different turn,” said Dr. Schmid. “It is a good reminder to be aware of all the dangerous foods and drinks that may be literally laying around throughout the holiday season. Pick up those half-finished plates of food and cocktails sitting around after guests leave. Be aware if there are food items in packages under your Christmas tree. If you don’t find them, I can guarantee your pet will!”
Red’s story is one of 12 cases featured this year as part of our Toxin Tails campaign. Pet Poison Helpline created Toxin Tails to educate the veterinary community and pet lovers on the many types of poisoning dangers facing pets, both in and out of the home. All the pets highlighted in Toxin Tails have been successfully treated for the poisoning and fully recovered.
Pet lovers can now vote for their favorite Toxin Tales stories by visiting petpoisonhelpline.com/vote.
About Pet Poison Helpline
Pet Poison Helpline, your trusted source for toxicology and pet health advice in times of potential emergency, is available 24 hours, seven days a week for pet owners and veterinary professionals who require assistance treating a potentially poisoned pet. We are an independent, nationally recognized animal poison control center triple licensed by the Boards of Veterinary Medicine, Medicine and Pharmacy providing unmatched professional leadership and expertise. Our veterinarians and board-certified toxicologists provide treatment advice for poisoning cases of all species, including dogs, cats, birds, small mammals, large animals and exotic species. As the most cost-effective option for animal poison control care, Pet Poison Helpline’s fee of $85 per incident includes follow-up consultations for the duration of the case. Based in Minneapolis, Pet Poison Helpline is available in North America by calling 800-213-6680. Additional information can be found online at www.petpoisonhelpline.com.