Meet Moe, Learn from His Tragic Story

In this week’s column, North Bend resident and pet training guru at Le Chic Pet, Melissa Grant, recounts a tragic local pet death with the hope of educating more owners and keeping more pets safe.


Meet Moe

I met Moe in the early days of my career as a dog trainer. He was one of my very first clients and always one of my favorites. A big, goofy Labradoodle, he was always eager to please and have fun. He took my classes and I did private training with his owner, who has remained a close friend. moe2

We knew from the beginning that Moe had a tendency to eat things he shouldn’t – socks, dish towels, gloves, panties, plastic bags and pencil leads. You name it, Moe contemplated eating it. It was a bad habit in his youth that sent him to ER more than once, but in his later years he grew out of it. Or so we thought.

A few weeks ago, Moe’s bad habit caught up to him and now Moe is gone. Moe died from eating some human medication meant for his Mom. No one is to blame. Mom was careful with her medication and put it out of reach of hungry Moe, but a chain events and a curious cat on the counter caused the medication to end up on the floor.

Moe’s owner called me around 6PM asking if a small amount of anti-inflammatories would hurt Moe and his brother Joe. AT this point, they weren’t sure if either dog had consumed any medication. I said call the vet and head to his office.

Moe died by 1AM and Joe spent several days in the hospital. They consumed possibly 7 pills between the two of them – and it was enough to take sweet goofy Moe. It’s very sad and I’ll miss Moe terribly.

Do you know all the things that could potentially harm your dog?

Human Medications

There some human medications that are ok for dogs. My own dog takes some for a stomach condition. Most, however, are horribly dangerous and toxic to animals.

If you suspect your dog has consumed any amount of any medication, the first thing to do is call your vet. Do not hesitate. Call immediately. If for some reason you cannot call your vet, there is poison control for animals at (888) 426-4435. There may be a charge to your credit card, but it is information you need to know to save your pet.

Toxic Plants

In addition to human medications, there are approximately 400 plants toxic to dogs. Some may just cause an upset tummy, but depending on the health and age of your pet, some could be deadly. If you have a dog like Moe that feels the need to taste the world, it’s good to know what’s in your yard and house – and how it could potentially harm your animal. Examples of toxic plants are: African Violets, Poinsettia, Holly and Peonies.

Fruits and Nuts

Fruits and nuts can be a danger too. For example, be careful of peach pits. They contain cyanide. Macadamia nuts can cause depression, weakness (especially of rear limbs), vomiting and tremors. Raisins and grapes are extremely dangerous. I almost lost another large Lab client to a small lunch-sized box of raisins. They can cause acute renal failure; vomiting and diarrhea are the first sings you may have a problem.

Other Types of Human Food

Lastly, we all know not to feed chocolate to our dogs (the darker the chocolate, the more toxic it is), but did you know that onions and garlic can both be toxic to dogs? Yeast dough can expand in dogs’ intestines and possibly cause a rupture. Xylitol (sugar substitute) can cause low blood sugar and liver failure. Some foods which are edible for humans, and even other animals species, but pose hazards for dogs due to their different metabolisms.

So be careful when you take your medications. Don’t feed your dog any human food and research new plants you bring into your home and garden. Do it for Moe. He’d want your pooches to be safe…even if he might want eat all your dish towels. Here’s hoping dish towels are beef flavored wherever Moe is.



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