Vets are warning pets owners about ‘incredibly harmful’ decorations after a dog nearly died from eating gingerbread biscuits attached to a Christmas tree.Marley, a seven-year-old Labrador, needed two life-saving operations after gorging on 34 of the biscuits.
He became seriously ill because ribbons attached to the biscuits caused a potentially fatal blockage.His owner Rachael Bulmer, from Bournemouth, rushed the dog to a local PDSA hospital where vets removed the decorations.
Ms Bulmer, 37, said: ‘I had been baking gingerbread tree decorations, and left them in gift bags on the kitchen counter side, ready to give as Christmas treats.
‘I thought I’d left them safely out of reach, but when I noticed some were gone, I instantly knew who had taken them.‘Over the years Marley’s been no stranger to eating things he shouldn’t and usually they pass through.
‘But this time he started acting strangely and looked like he was going into shock. He was violently sick and brought up some of the ribbon.’
Staff at the PDSA Hospital in Poole, Dorset, also found that Marley had swallowed a number of bones which had also become lodged in his stomach. Senior vet Aoife Clancy said: ‘It was a lengthy, high-risk surgery.‘Marley’s chances of surviving the night were looking poor, so he was transferred to the out-of-hours provider, Vets Now, so he could be cared for overnight.
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‘Thankfully he pulled through but needed critical round-the-clock care for four days before he could go home.’
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Ms Bulmer said: ‘There were so many times we thought that was it, and with the heaviest of hearts, we were preparing to say goodbye to him.
‘But he kept on fighting, and somehow, made it through surgery- he really is our miracle dog.’
She thanked the ‘incredibly kind and caring staff’ at the hospital.Marley is now beginning to recover after the treatment which cost PDSA more than £2,000 and was paid for by public donations.
In a warning pet owners, Ms Clancy said: ‘It’s important that owners make sure decorations and toxic Christmas foods are safe from curious paws, as they can be incredibly harmful to our pets. ‘Foods including mince pies, chocolate, onions, raisins, grapes, macadamia nuts, sage-and-onion stuffing and Christmas cake can all be fatal.
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‘Keep an eye out for signs including vomiting, diarrhoea, drinking excessively, shaking and restlessness.
‘It’s best to contact the vet as soon as you think your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t, rather than waiting for symptoms.’