A distraught family have warned pet owners to keep their bins out of reach after their dog died after licking mouldy food out of an overturned recycling bin.
Cockapoo Dexter licked the highly toxic mould from a stale loaf of bread from inside the bin which had been blown over and within minutes, started vomiting and fitting.
His worried owner Sarah Dent rushed the six-year-old to the vet, but when she returned home she found the family’s other dog – three-year-old cockapoo Georgie – lying on the floor in the same state.
Georgie had licked Dexter’s vomit and poisoned herself with the same highly-toxic mould.
Georgie was rushed to the same vet, where she underwent emergency treatment to reverse the toxic shock and both dogs were then placed in induced comas.
Luckily Georgie improved, but poor Dexter continued to deteriorate and eventually suffered multiple organ failure and 10 days after he licked the mould, the family had to make the heartbreaking decision to have him put down.
Sarah, 42, from Bovingdon, Hertfordshire said: “I hadn’t washed the bin out as it had only contained mouldy bread. Little did I know then that bread mould and its residue are in fact highly toxic.
“Dexter was a massive part of our family, and it’s so heartbreaking that his death could have been avoided.”
The mum-of-three is now desperate to raise awareness of the little-known issue, sharing her story to warn other dog owners of the dangers of mould to pets.
She said: “I don’t want our beloved Dexter to die in vain. Not one person that contacted me out of thousands knew that their recycling caddies and this mould was a killer to their dogs.
“Scarily this would have the same effect on cats, other wildlife or even a young child if consumed.
“The circumstances of Dexter’s death will always haunt us but I hope by raising awareness that more animals and children aren’t fatally poisoned.
“I believe my dog wouldn’t have died if I had known that one small piece of information.”