A naughty puppy has gone under the knife four times because he can’t stop eating everything he can get his paws on – including his own muzzle.Spaniel Dexter is so obsessed with chewing things he shouldn’t – including fishnet tights, chocolate and duct tape – that his owners got him a mouth guard, but he ate that too. Andrew and Teri Gumpert, from Teddington, Surrey, have had to take the 18-month-old dog to their local Vet more than seven times because of his endless chewing.
Among the items he has eaten are a tennis ball, duct tape, wood chippings, a hair scrunchie, a plastic bag and one of his own toys.Andrew, who owns Dexter with his wife, explained: ‘It all started with him eating his way through the contents of one of my daughter’s clothes drawers about a year ago and it has continued ever since.‘We got him a muzzle but it appears Uncle Casper – our older spaniel – helped him to loosen it to the point where Dexter could get his teeth into it and proceeded to eat it.’
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He continued: ‘We hope it’s just a playful puppy thing and he’ll eventually grow out of it as at the moment we can’t take our eyes off him for a minute.
‘He’s a beautiful, loving dog but he is also very mischievous.’Vet Sebastian Griffin has carried out many of the operations on Dexter. He said: ‘On four occasions, Dexter required an exploratory celiotomy, which is when a large incision is made down the tummy to identify all the organs within the body.
‘Once the foreign bodies are located, the intestines are incised, the foreign body removed and then the intestines are stitched back together.’Mr Griffin’s Vet4Life surgery has managed to save dopey Dexter’s life with his vital care.
He added: ‘On other occasions, such as when he ate 12 chocolates – which could easily have proved fatal – the best way of dealing with Dexter was to make him sick.
‘This involved an injection to induce vomiting. Of course, this is never pleasant for a dog but it is extremely effective.
You should never physically punish your pet. It brings the animal pain and fear, and it gains you nothing. It’s a lose-lose situation. Please don’t do it.
‘Young dogs often eat things which they shouldn’t but Dexter seems to do it more than most. To do four exploratory surgeries on one dog is certainly unusual.’
He added that a good trainer or behaviourist can often wean dogs off eating objects, while keeping them on the lead when walking is also important.