HOUSTON – A family in Sugar Land is warning pet owners after their beloved miniature Dachshund died five days after eating an unidentified poison in their backyard.
The Potter family has lived in the same home in the Sugar Hill neighborhood for 35 years and has never used any rat, insect or other poison, family members said.
By the time the family realized that 10-month-old Bilbo Waggins, who weighed 11 pounds, had ingested the substance in their backyard, it was too late.
“They were all playing, everything was great, and I realized he picked up something along the fence,” Evelyn Potter said. “I thought, if we see some symptoms, then we’ll rush him in. But, we saw no symptoms. He’s a happy puppy.”
The puppy belonged to Potter’s son, Steven and his girlfriend, who were visiting Sugar Land from Nebraska for the holidays.
For five days after eating what Potter described as a small white rectangle, Bilbo seemed like his happy self.
Then last Thursday, he started coughing a lot so the family rushed him to a nearby emergency veterinary office, where he was misdiagnosed with kennel cough.
“Later in the day, he keeps coughing,” Potter said. “Then, later on, he’s coughing blood, and then he’s vomiting blood, and we rushed him [back] in around 10 that night.”
The family remembered the strange white substance that Bilbo had eaten almost a week prior, but not soon enough.
Bilbo didn’t make it through the night. The vet determined he died from ingesting poison.
“It was awful, it was awful,” Potter said. “It was really awful. The next day, all of us were in tears.”
The Potter family may never know how a piece of what they think was rat poison ended up in their backyard.
They have a suggestion for those who think their pet may have eaten something poisonous.
“You get him to the emergency room right away,” Potter said. “They’ll know what to do. There was an antidote. Who knew? They can do things for them.”