Spraying with weed killer can be one of those dangerous situations, which can harm and even kill our pets.
A few years ago, I had one of the most tragic experiences of my life. I had only three stray dogs left, out of the five that were living on my street. 'Fetita'(Little Girl) has been here ever since we started our house. She was born here, yet I never knew her mom. We weren't living here back then, but only came to visit the construction from time to time. Just before moving in, Fetita gave birth to six little pups and naturally, I started to take care of them. I made them a few crates so the puppies, the mom and their dad had their own crate. Some of the neighbors took in a few pups, so only three remained in my care, Buck, Rita and Betty.
The puppies grew up and with my American Dave's Garden friends' help, not only I could neuter them all, but also their mom, Fetita and their dad, Gavrila. They were such happy dogs and I had such fun with them! Even my grandson could feed them and stay around them, that's how calm and good they were!
A few years ago, during a rainy summer, the weeds in the field and around the houses on our street grew a few feet high. Most of the neighbors trimmed the weeds around their houses, but one of them preferred to spray them with herbicide. I'm sure he didn't think of the consequence, although he was also feeding the dogs, who were staying around his house too, at least for a few hours, until I came home from work. I remember passing by his house later and seeing the grass around his fence all dry which made me realize that he must have sprayed with herbicide.
Just before that, the two puppies (who were now adults) Buck and Rita and their mom, Fetita, were missing one night at dinner. It had happened before, so I thought they must have been full, after being fed by another neighbor and then most probably went out in the field.
The next morning, as I was out to leave for work, I looked around, searching for the dogs, but they weren't anywhere. I whistled them, as I did every time I wanted to call them. There was no sign of any of the dogs and I was beginning to worry.
Just when I was about to go back in and dress up for work, I saw Fetita, walking very strange, along my fence. I stopped to talk to her, but she seemed lost, her eyes were glassy and she was drooling and shaking, while her legs trembled. I knew immediately that she must have been poisoned somehow and that she needed immediate care. Poor thing, she came to me for help!
I had seen poisoned dogs before and learned what to do on such emergency before taking the dog to a vet. Fortunately, on the other dog poisoning cases, we had a vet nearby, so it was easy to take them there fast. Yet, it was a dog whom I saved once, as the vet wasn't there at the time, but he told me what to do on the phone.
On that day, I had to go to the office right away, so what was I going to do with Fetita? I had to do something fast, or Fetita could have died in seconds. I remembered what the vet told me on that other occasion, so I ran to the house, filled half a small soda bottle with water and then poured salt until I filled the whole bottle - half and half water and salt, this is what the vet told me I should do, then pour as much as I can down the dog's throat, to make him vomit. I went out, where Fetita was laying down in the sun - poor girl must have been cold, because of the poison. I poured the saline liquid onto her throat, little by little, until the bottle was empty. It was easy to do that, because Fetita trusted me and she didn't even try to growl, nor to bite me.
Then, I called the village vet and told him what had happened, asking him to please come and get her. He wasn't at the office at that early hour, but he was on his way so there was a hope. He said I did well and maybe that was enough to save Fetita's life.
Imagine how I felt that morning, while driving to the office, worried sick for my dogs! Because I began to realize that the other two must have been poisoned too and were agonizing somewhere in the field. Their mom was smart enough to come and ask for help, but they must have been too sick to think what to do... I drove in tears (as I'm writing now!)and once arrived in the office, I called the vet. He said he went to take Fetita, but she wasn't there. Imagine my despair! There was nothing more I could have done except for calling the neighbors and tell them to watch for the dogs, if they would appear on the street.
The day passed on, so slowly, and I was very anxious to go home and find the dogs. But they weren't there in the afternoon and none of them came home that day. I was devastated as I realized that all my dogs could have been dead by that time.
The next day came, but the dogs were still missing. I left for work and tried to do things which kept me from thinking. When I came home from the office, I went to check the crates, just in case, because I still had hope. And I did well, because there was Fetita, alive and moving, inside her crate!!!!!! I was so happy!
It seemed that my remedy had worked and she managed to live after all. I can't describe what I felt, but I was so relieved!
The other two dogs never came and I'm sure they must have died somewhere on the field. As I said above, later after all this happened, I saw the dry grass around my neighbor's fence and I asked him about it. He said that he sprayed the weeds with weed killer, but he didn't know it could be toxic for dogs. The harm was done and he was as devastated as I was, because they were his dogs too, at least, partially.
The vet told me that a real weed killer or insecticide is toxic for dogs and cats and who says otherwise is lying. Not to mention that it can be toxic for humans too. Yet, our pets are more exposed, as they are laying on the grass, sometimes for several hours, while sleeping or hiding in the shadows, especially in a hot summer day. That must have happened to my dogs, because that was the only time when someone sprayed with a weed killer like that - never did any of us before, especially not after the tragedy!
Fetita is still living out there and, now, other dogs are keeping her company. They are always searching for shadow in the hot summer days, which are mostly along the fences. The grass grows tall after the rain, but we all have trimmers, for trimming the weeds - no more weed killer! We love our pets too much to put them in danger again!