Friday, January 22, 2021

Insight: Paying the price for the infamous ‘Raisin Toast Incident’

By Ed Pierce

Managing Editor

Anyone who would pay $487 for a single slice of raisin toast would certainly have to be out of their mind, right? But it’s exactly how much a slice of bread imbedded with raisins cost me last month.

I normally don’t purchase raisin bread at the grocery store very often, but my wife asked me to bring home a loaf when I did my normal weekly shopping a few weeks before Christmas. We each enjoyed several pieces of raisin toast during breakfast in the days leading up to what I now call the infamous “Raisin Toast Incident.”

On a typical Wednesday morning, I got up, fixed myself some coffee and then woke my wife up so she could eat breakfast and start getting ready for work. Our 4-year-old lab-mix dog, Fancy, was wide awake and waited patiently for me to take her for a walk.

After scrolling through emails on our computers, my wife decided it was time for her to shower as she continued to prepare for work. Having taken the dog for her walk, I thought I’d fix myself some breakfast while my wife was in the shower.

I settled on a bowl of Cheerios, some V-8 juice and a single slice of raisin toast. Fancy sat in the kitchen near me while the toaster worked its magic and I retrieved a cereal bowl and poured the milk for my Cheerios. I put a little butter on the toast, gathered my breakfast on my desk and prepared for my morning meal.

But that was interrupted suddenly by the sound of my wife’s voice coming from the shower. Her towel was in the laundry and she needed a new one. I dutifully got up and stepped away from my desk to bring her a clean towel and was only gone from my desk for less than 30 seconds.

Yet, seeing the piece of raisin toast unguarded was apparently too much temptation for Fancy. By the time I got back to my desk, she was headed out the door and down the hallway with the slice of toast in her mouth. By the time I caught up with her she had swallowed the toast whole and I quickly retreated to my computer to look up if raisin toast could harm our dog.

I read with astonishment that raisins are highly toxic for dogs and told my wife I was going to immediately take Fancy to the 24-hour emergency veterinarian care facility for treatment. I put Fancy in the back seat of my car, and we made it there in a little more than a half-hour.

While I waited in the car, the veterinarian and vet tech team members took Fancy inside and induced vomiting by administering hydrogen peroxide. They were able to get some of the slice of raisin toast back that way, but not all of it.

After an hour, they also did a blood test on her to determine if her kidneys had processed any of the toxicity in the raisins. Thankfully, they had not. The veterinarian released Fancy back into my care and recommended another blood test the following day to ensure that no toxins remained in her system from consuming the raisin toast.

He told me that although raisins can be deadly for dogs, it is unknown precisely how many raisins a dog can tolerate for them to be toxic. Since it was also unknown as to how many actual raisins were in that slice of toast she ate, he thought she would be OK and but couldn’t be sure for a day or two.

The following afternoon my wife took Fancy to our veterinarian for the follow-up blood test and that turned out negative for toxins.

Between the emergency veterinarian treatment ($388) and the local vet’s blood test ($99), the entire sordid episode cost us a grand total of $487 and just a few weeks before Christmas too.

In hindsight, we learned some hard lessons that day. First, always check to see if there is a towel available before stepping into the shower. And second, never, ever, leave unattended food that could be toxic to animals within easy reach of our dog Fancy.

The infamous “Raisin Toast Incident” was entirely avoidable, and I’ll certainly know better in the future. Just glad everything worked out OK, even though our bank account suffered because of my inattentiveness and our dog could have met a much worse fate. <

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