Puppy almost killed by chocolate biscuits, prompting warning to dog owners

A 15-week-old puppy had to undergo emergency medical treatment after binging on a double pack of chocolate biscuits .

Jo Higgs, from Bournemouth, Dorset, returned home to find a chewed up empty packet of bourbon biscuits in her kitchen. After realising the biscuits had been consumed by her dog , Zeena, Ms Higgs began to feel concerned when the puppy became unwell and developed a bloated stomach.

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“I’d been out on the school run and returned home to find the chewed up, empty packet of bourbon biscuits on the kitchen floor,” she said.

“I think my daughter had taken them out of the cupboard and accidentally left them on the side.”

Ms Higgs said she had not previously known bourbon biscuits could pose a threat to a dog’s health, but realised “something was horribly wrong” when Zeena “started acting strangely”. The 44-year-old sought help from the PDSA (People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals) Pet Hospital in Bournemouth. The puppy was given emergency medication by PDSA vet Paul Cossey to make her sick and prevent further absorption of theobromine, the chemical in chocolate that can prove deadly for pets .

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Zeena was also put on a drip, to rid her body of any remaining toxins from the chocolate, and was transferred to Vets Now, an out-of-hours emergency service, for overnight care.
“Chocolate can be extremely poisonous to dogs,” Mr Cossey said. “Even small amounts can be dangerous – just a small bar of dark chocolate contains enough to be fatal to a small dog such as a Yorkshire terrier.” Mr Cossey explained the amount of chocolate Zeena ate – 3g – could have proven fatal had she not been treated, given her young age.

“Thankfully, we were able to provide life-saving treatment before it was too late,” the vet added.

Ms Higgs said she felt “terrified” her dog wouldn’t survive, and thanked the “fantastic” team at PDSA who saved her life.

Several foods people may think would make treats for pets could actually be put their lives at risk, Mr Cossey outlined.

These foods include chocolate, grapes, currants, raisins and some nuts.

“Onions, garlic and chives can also be poisonous, so it’s important to be clued up on what your pets can or can’t eat. If you think your dog has eaten something they shouldn’t, speak with your vet immediately,” he said.

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For further information including signs and symptoms to look out for, visit the PDSA website here.