We got an item in the mail that must have had one of those silica gel packets in it. I didn't see the packet when I opened the package.
I did, however, see it when I found it chewed open on the couch when we left her alone in the house for like, fifteen minutes. Little bead looking things everywhere. Torn paper.
I picked it up, and immediately called the vet. Elka was still dancing around in her "yay, you're home!" fervor.
I laid it out for the person who answered the phone, she asked how big Elka was, then asked if she was in their system. Then she said "Oh, the Dobie." I said "Yes, the Dobie," impatient but starting to be hopeful. The person who'd answered the phone sounded somewhat amused. "We just went through this not too long ago with somebody else," she said. "I think she'll be all right, but hold on, let me make sure." I waited on hold for what seemed like an interminable amount of time but was really less than a minute. When she came back on, she said "Yes, she'll be fine. I asked a tech, who also asked a vet, and there's nothing to worry about with her size."
Of course, it could be that Miss Elka never ingested any of it at all, just chewed on the paper. I'll never know. This was Friday, and she's been fine since, behaviorally and gastrointestinally. But when something says "Do Not Eat", I tend to think it's for some dark reason. According to the Wikipedia article (the hallmark for good solid online medical research, I know /sarcasm), "Silica gel is non-toxic, non-flammable, and non-reactive and stable with ordinary usage." However, it does also say "Silica gel is irritating to the respiratory tract and may cause irritation of the digestive tract", which is in fact a valid reason not to eat the things (do you hear this, Elka? Hmm, Missy?).
(NaNoWriMo wordcount is 40,136 words)