A Staffordshire bull terrier has undergone life-saving surgery after wolfing down six packets of Christmas chocolate coins.
The Staffie was rushed to the town’s PDSA pet hospital where vets took the decision to operate, as chocolate can be lethal to dogs, with foil being an additional danger.
He was very lucky and could have died if he had not been treated in time
PDSA pet nurse Donna Southwould
Owner Amie said the PDSA treatment was a “Christmas miracle” for Hugo, adding: “I’d only been to the shops briefly and came back to find torn-up packets and bits of foil all over the floor, with the chocolate gone.
“At first Hugo seemed fine, but I felt sick with worry when he began vomiting blood. He then had a seizure, which was terrifying, so I called the PDSA immediately.”
At the hospital run by the veterinary charity, Hugo was assessed, sedated and had an X-ray, which revealed his stomach was full of foil. His owner was told he would need surgery to remove it.
PDSA vet nurse Donna Southwould said: “Hugo was kept in overnight after his major surgery. He needed an intravenous fluid drip, medication and intensive nursing care to aid his recovery.
“He was very lucky, and could have died if he had not been treated in time. While he’s not completely out of the woods yet, thankfully Hugo is now at home on strict rest, and on the road to recovery.”
Advising owners to be aware of the dangers of festive treats for their pets, she added: “Many of us have treats, sweets and chocolates aplenty in the house, and while the festive period can be a time for indulgence, it’s important to remember that some of these foods are very harmful to our pets.
“Foods including chocolate, mince pies, onions, raisins, grapes, some nuts, sage-and-onion stuffing and Christmas cake can all be harmful, and should be kept safely out of paws’ reach.
“Instead of extra food, why not try giving your pets some extra playtime over Christmas?”
Amie added: “I don’t know what I would have done without the incredibly kind and caring staff at PDSA – they were amazing. I honestly don’t think Hugo would be here without them.
“They went above and beyond for him and I will be forever grateful. There were a number of times I thought we were going to lose him, so to have him home for Christmas is a miracle.”
A PDSA spokesperson said: “If you think your pet might have eaten something they shouldn’t, call your vet immediately as they might need urgent treatment.”