SO I'll send you the sordid tale of how Milton just about killed himself. (He's pulling through, so you already know the story has a happy ending - but he's still on an IV, so you know the story's serious.)
Best we can figure from now is that he ate a paperwhite bulb. Little did we know, but lilies are poisonous to dogs, and narcissus is a kind of lily, and paperwhite is a kind of narcissus. At any rate we didn't figure this out till late last night.
NB: Most bulb-type plants (especially in the Lilidaceae and Iridaceae families) are toxic to both humans and animals. *Cattle* have been known to die from eating narcissus species (which includes paperwhites!), and severe GI reactions occur across the board. Humans can even get contact dermatitis from handling narcissus bulbs, where the highest concentration of calcium oxalate (as well as the nausea-inducing lycorine) appears. Caveat emptor.
Milton started throwing up on Tuesday. Once in the morning, then as soon as I let him out in the evening and continuing on. Every time he drank anything, it was instantly transmogrified into frothy green bilious vomit. He managed to keep some water down in the middle of the night Tuesday night and even showed some interest in TJ's smoothie Wednesday morning, but it came up again pretty quickly. Kept some more water down and a little chicken that afternoon for about 20 minutes, but soon was doing it again.
I took him to the vet, where we discovered he'd lost 5 pounds (and when you weigh a total of 45, that's a Big Deal). You could see his "cheekbones" (do dogs have cheeks?) under his eyes and he was totally lethargic, hanging his head low with his ears back and lying around. He kept stretching, like his joints were all stiff and sore. They whisked him to the back to put him on an IV and do x-rays to make sure he hadn't swallowed anything large and blocking, like, say, a tennis ball, or a vacuum cleaner - nothing showed up in the x-rays but an abnormal amount of stomach and intestinal gas. They gave him a subcutaneous bolus of fluid and a slow IV drip, and when they closed for the evening, TJ and I had to take him to the puppy emergency room for overnight observation and more fluids. Meanwhile, the vet sent out bloodwork to see if any of the following might be the case:
* liver failure
* acture renal failure
* endocrine problems
None of these would have been great, but renal failure or toxicity would at least be manageable overnight with lots of fluids to flush him out and fill him up. The vet was also encouraged that he'd perked up so much from the 1 liter of fluids they'd given him while there and said it was a good sign.
We picked him up again this morning at 7 IN THE FREAKING MORNING, and he was totally perky. I've never been happier to see that dog try to chew on his leash, or to jump all over me. We took him back to the vet, who said his bloodwork was pristine, although his red blood count and chloride count were high (both of which would jibe with dehydration). They kept him today for more IV fluids, to wean him off gradually (he'd gained back 3.5 pounds overnight), and to try to reintroduce food and water very slowly. Hopefully we'll get to take him home this afternoon, where he'll get white rice and boiled antibiotic- and hormone-free chicken.
TJ looked exhausted when we left the vet. He heaved an existential sigh and declared that that was it; he wasn't ever going to have children because something like this with a child would kill him.
THE END. (Hopefully. It was very lonely to come home to no puppy dog last night. We're total Milton fiends.)