Gus chewed a hole in my Albuterol asthma inhaler. Turns out? Those things'll kill a dog.
So after a $55 call to Animal Poison Control we went off to the Emergency Animal Clinic.
The deal is that just like in people, albuterol can raise a dog's heart rate. And since they are smaller than people, and just inhaled the entire container when they pierced it, it can raise it to the point where their entire cardiovascular system shuts down. It can also dangerously raise their blood pressure. The more unexpected thing is that it binds with the potassium in their bodies, and not enough potassium also leads to the heart stopping. He was panting incredibly hard, like I've never seen. Really sharp breaths through his nose. And his chest was just flying up and down.
So. After $300 worth of tests at the emergency clinic, they determine that yes, his heart rate is elevated, but not to dangerous levels, and his BP and potassium are fine. They're going to keep him and monitor him from now until tomorrow morning, and then check his potassium one last time around 6am. After that, which they predict will be normal, I can take him home.
The people at the clinic were amazingly nice. I told them I was financially, um, screwed, and they tried to do things low-cost. They were calm and comforting and friendly. The vet was really nice and took her time talking to us (Marci went with me, she's such a sweetheart), and seemed really knowledgeable.
As for the poison control people, wtf? $55 for a five minute conversation? They were very helpful, but dude. A full physical at the normal vet costs less. They did also give me a case number, so the vet could call and talk to them, but I'm sticking with like 15 minutes of work tops.
Anyway. Gus is probably okay, but he scared me. I can't really afford this, but what can you do? I'm going to miss him like crazy tonight.