This is a first person account by Anita. It is a true story:
My 4-year old lab mix Phillip was the picture of health until 3 days ago. He seemed happy and normal when I left the house that morning. By the time I returned in the evening, Phillip seemed depressed and uninterested in his usual treats. He slept well that night, and heartily ate his breakfast as usual Monday morning. Within 30 minutes, however, he vomited up everything he had eaten. He drank water & vomited that too. I took him to the vet who, after exam, performed surgery to remove a blockage in his intestine. What he removed appeared to be a sizable piece of cow hoof. With the blockage gone, he sewed Phillip up and we all expected to see a normal recovery. Tuesday morning, Phillip ate a small amount of canned food. It came back up. Something was wrong. As the morning progressed, Phillip was getting worse instead of better. Doc ran some bloodwork and the results were puzzling.
Phillip’s white blood count was 2.98. Normal is 600-700. Phillip’s red blood count was completely normal. His liver count was slightly elevated. The blockage and even the surgery would not have created such an abnormality. We realized we were dealing with something else and began looking for any toxins Phillip might have ingested. Sadly, my baby didn’t make it through the night. A necropsy this morning revealed necrotic tissue further down the digestive tract from the original surgery site along with pieces of cow hoof. Bingo. Salmonella.
Did you know that cow hooves are not pasteurized before reaching the store shelves? I didn’t. The same is apparently true for other “parts” e.g. pig ears. I thought I was being careful. I stuffed the hooves with canned dog food or peanut butter and the dogs loved to lick them clean. Ordinarily I would collect them once the “stuffing” was gone, but Phillip obviously had gotten hold of one in the last few days and ate it.
I live in Hoover, Alabama, and today is Wednesday April 28, 2010. Sunday morning my Phillip was a happy, healthy, bouncy dog. Today he is no longer with me. We’ve paid a huge price. I don’t want anyone else to have to do the same.
Editors Note: Our hearts go out to Anita and her family at the loss of Phillip. Many thanks to my friend Tonya Formby for making us aware.