I am allergic to fleas. When a flea probes me, I get a red dot that lasts for one to two years. Dermatologist says nothing can be done about them. About three weeks ago, the fleas in my yard must have had a baby boom. Sparty, the lab was covered. I freaked. I would have no more red spotty ankles if I could help it. Out of a tribute to the god of convenience, I picked up some Hartz 3 in 1 Dog Spray at the grocery store. I sprayed a light film on ol Sparty. The fleas did not leave. Next day, I sprayed a better film on him. The fleas did not leave. I started giving him a daily spray and brushing. He didn’t seem to mind. The flea population was reduced. I was happy.
Two days ago, Sparty vomited more food than I thought could fit in his stomach. All day yesterday he could not even keep down water. He had rapid heartrate and shallow breathing. He was not interested in food and did not want to lie down on his side.
This morning, the vet discovered he has pancreatitis. He said noone knows what causes it, but a fatty diet is suspected. The pancreas, in addition to secreting insulin, secretes digestive enzymes. If it is inflamed, it could actually digest the surrounding tissues, among other horrible things. He was in serious trouble.
Thanks to the power of the internet, I discovered organophosphate based insecticides can cause pancreatitis. It is called chemical pancreatitis. A little more surfing and I soon learned that was what I was spraying on him. I called the animal hospital and told them and asked them to wash my dog. The personnel there did not believe me until they asked the vet himself. His comments were — I thought they took those things off the shelf, and — that is just not something I would think to ask a pet owner. I actually educated the vet. Amazing.
Sparty is still in bad shape. I know all of you are pulling for him.

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