We almost had a tragedy during their stay. the Central West of NSW is in the midst of a rodent plague. I suppose because it has been such a good season, there are rats and mice everywhere. Our house is very old and not all all mouse proof and we have a number of sheds. for some reason we have been in the habit of using rat bait in our sheds and our ceiling. I think we did this out of habit and with not much thought as we don't use any other pesticides. I had also come to believe the farmers folklore that eating a baited mouse or rate would not hurt the dogs.
Well we have found out the hard way that is not the case. We came home one day to find Elle (the puppy) quite listless. Katie, who had arrived home earlier, said she had been playing very sedately with Jemima. This was unusual but we put it down to the puppy being tiered and relieved to have less people about. some time later I looked in her mouth for some reason. Her gums were greyish white, very alarming. I rang the vet straight away, he also sounded alarmed and said to bring her in straight away and our other dog if we had one as she would need a transfusion. By this time Elle had crawled way up under our house and would not come out. Peter had to crawl in and get her. When i picked her up she let out the most bloodcurdling howl. I really thought that she was dying then and there. We quickly got in the car with Angus, our old dog and headed off to the vet. the vet is forty minutes away so at this point I really didn't think Elle would make it but we had to try.
Once at the vet Angus was anaesthetised and about a litre of his blood taken, Elle was then transfused. She responded quite quickly and was looking a little better. We had to leave her there over night and take poor old Gus home. He was in a bad way and we thought it had all been too much for him and that we might lose him too.
This story has a happy ending. Elle survived and once the anesthetic wore off Angus was back to normal as well. We have no more rat bait on our place and are trapping the mice and rats. I am still concerned though as I have heard that the farmers are spreading bait as they plant their crops and just this morning when we were out walking in the paddock Elle presented me with a rat that looked like it had eaten bait. We will just have to really watch her and try and take any rats and mice away from her.
As Elle and Angus were one of the highlights of Jemima's stay this could have really put a cloud over our happy time. Not to mention how much we love the dogs and felt so responsible for having allowed this to happen.
Apparently the rodent plague will get worse so we will be busy with out traps!
Elle recovering in my chair!
Angus on the lounge!