We first met Darcy (an 18 month old Whippet) a year ago when his mum came to us for advice about adopting him. He had captured her heart on a whippet rescue website; Darcy had been surrendered as a puppy because he ate a tray of Ibuprofen. Ibuprofen is metabolised safely with people, but cats and dogs lack the enzymes to de-toxify it and it was uncertain how badly Darcy's kidneys may have been damaged. After chatting with Dr Chantelle and performing a bit of research of her own, Darcy's mum made the decision that no matter the state of his kidneys, she wanted to provide him with a loving home.
So after a few days on fluid therapy, wellness blood screens and urine tests, it was determined that for now, Darcy's kidneys had recovered well from the initial insult of the wayward Nurofen. His mum could breathe a sigh of relief and get him settled in with his new brother James.
It was short lived however, as Darcy just didn't learn his lesson. He presented to us again a few months later because he decided it was a good idea to get into Mum's calcium and vitamin D supplements. Vitamin D causes the retention of calcium which can in turn, cause mineralisation deposits within the kidneys and acute renal failure, and Darcy had eaten both!
Given his previous history with drugs that damage the kidneys, Darcy's mum didn't take any chances and had him in for examination and a wellness blood screen. Again, Darcy showed that he ate a small enough volume that his kidneys remained unaffected. Lucky Darcy!
Six months later, Darcy became bored and wanted to visit the clinic again. He had to get creative however because his mum had made many efforts to “Darcy-proof” the house (Locks on pantry, things put away etc etc.) So he stole and ate a cooked onion off the kitchen bench in the 5 minutes his mum was in another room. Rushed immediately to the hospital, Darcy was made to vomit and lucky for him, it appeared as though very little of the onion was digested and absorbed by Darcy's gut.
This time we worried about the thiosuphates found within all varieties of the onion family, (Allium sp. including garlic, chives and leeks) that are toxic in all manner of preparations (cooked, raw, powdered). Thiosulphate toxicity causes a haemolytic anaemia (red blood cell destruction) even in small amounts. As garlic and onions are a very common cooking ingredient, if pets are fed left overs, toxicity can 'accrue' over a long period of time, causing chronic red blood cell losses. Lucky for Darcy, his wellness blood screen showed he had absorbed very little onion because cytology showed healthy red blood cells in adequate numbers.
Darcy is very well known by all members of the Pascoe Vale team. And although Darcy has eaten a variety of items (including paw paw ointment) over the last year without getting sick, Darcy's mum never takes a chance and always phones the clinic for advice. Lucky Darcy's pet insurance covers all the frequent visits and wellness blood screens!