SANTA MONICA, Calif. -- Lori Burns' dog is lucky to be alive. On Sunday, Burns was on a walk along Palisades Park in Santa Monica, Los Angeles County, when her dog did something he's never done before.
"Out of nowhere he just stopped. I looked down and he collapsed," Burns said about her dog, who is named Chance the Rapper after the famous musician.
"All four legs were completely out. He was panting extremely heavily. He was looking up into the sky," Burns said.
Burns rushed Chance to the VCA Animal Specialty and Emergency Center in West Los Angeles, where she was told her dog had a fever of 106 degrees. Then, Burns was shocked to learn Chance's urine contained oxycodone, something he accidentally swallowed on their walk.
"He said it's really serious, and I said to the point, 'Is he going to live?' and he said 'I don't know.' And, that's when I lost it," Burns said.
Twenty-four hours in the hospital and $4,000 later, Chance was back home, but he's now blind.
Veterinarian Kwane Stewart, of the nonprofit Project Street Vet, says Burns' quick-thinking of rushing Chance to the nearest hospital likely saved his life.
"The pet parent is more inclined to play what we call 'Google vet' and go to their phone and start researching, and try to figure out what may be the cause. That is the wrong approach," Stewart said. "Seconds and minutes can count. You need to get on the phone with a professional."
Veterinarians say toxicities are common in pets and the ASPCA operates an animal poison control call center 24 hours a day in case there's not a clinic nearby. That number is 888-426-4435.
"We would never want someone to stop walking their dog or be fearful of walking their dog at a dog park because they hear this story. Just be aware. Where you're walking your dog. Where they're spending time. What they're sniffing. Investigate," Stewart said. "If you're seeing any signs whatsoever, and it can vary, but people know their dogs. They know when their behavior is off. If you're observing any odd behavior. It's time to take action."