In Memorium — Elsa

So I know I said I would post up that curry bake recipe, but after I posted up the sweet potato casserole Saturday morning some heart wrenching and life shattering things took place. We’ll make it eventually, I promise, because I love curries. But today’s post is a bit more personal. A bit of therapy for myself.

January 2011 – November 17, 2012

(From a post I made Saturday evening to another location)

We were throwing out some leftovers Tuesday that had onion in them and spilled some on the floor; before we could clean it up she managed to gobble up at most three ounces of onion, but I think even a little less than that. The day she ate the onion she acted like she wasn’t feeling well but the next day and through Friday she was feeling better.

This morning was different. She was very lethargic and her gums were extremely pale. We immediately took her to my normal vet only to discover he wasn’t there this weekend due to a conference. We took her to another nearby vet his receptionist suggested. She walked inside fine, but while I was filling out paperwork she just laid down and wouldn’t get up. She was breathing very heavy and ragged breaths.

A vet tech came and picked her up and carried her back, the doc was between patients and she was obviously in distress. After a couple of minutes he came out and explained that she was suffering from severe anemia and kidney complications, both due to the onion toxicity killing off her red blood cells. This reduced oxygen to her organs and also flooded her kidneys with dead red blood cells.

He told us we needed to get her to a nearby emergency clinic immediately if cost isn’t a concern (he said it would likely be $2,000+) for an oxygen tank and blood transfusion, because all he could provide was supportive care via an oxygen mask. I remember vividly the moment I realized how serious this truly was–he said, “if she makes it through today, she should be okay.” With that, he went back while we called family.

We quickly secured funding from family members, within 3 minutes, but in that time things changed. Her heart had stopped and the vet was trying to get it restarted. He was unsuccessful, and told us the almost certain cause of death was anemia related complications due to the onion toxicity.

This was a lab/malamute mix, close to or over a hundred pounds. She was in great health and less than two years old. It was no more than a few ounces of cooked onion, and it killed her.