Spaniel muzzled for chewing everything in sight eats his own mouth guard

Dexter the naughty spaniel
Dexter is 18-months-old – giving his owners some hope that he will grow out of the habit (Pictures: Vet4Life/Wessex News Agency)

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.
WESSEX NEWS AGENCY email news@britishnews.co.uk mobile 07501 221880 Jim Hardy A dog fitted with a muzzle to stop him eating everything in sight got his revenge - he ate the muzzle. Dexter, an 18-month-old spaniel, has an appetite which seems to have no limits and he is constantly ravenous. Dexter with muzzle
Dexter is belived to have enlisted the help of fellow spaniel Uncle Casper to help him loosen the muzzle (Pictures: Vet4Life/Wessex News Agency)
WESSEX NEWS AGENCY email news@britishnews.co.uk mobile 07501 221880 Jim Hardy A dog fitted with a muzzle to stop him eating everything in sight got his revenge - he ate the muzzle. Dexter, an 18-month-old spaniel, has an appetite which seems to have no limits and he is constantly ravenous. Dexter
Ravenous Dexter without his mouth guard (Pictures: Vet4Life/Wessex News Agency)
‘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.’

Limit treats to training rewards. This is an excellent way to make sure your dog views treats as special rather than expected. It’s also helpful in keeping your pet from becoming overweight or obese. Feed a species-appropriate diet, and partner with a holistic or integrative vet to maintain your pet’s well-being.

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.
WESSEX NEWS AGENCY email news@britishnews.co.uk mobile 07501 221880 Jim Hardy A dog fitted with a muzzle to stop him eating everything in sight got his revenge - he ate the muzzle. Dexter, an 18-month-old spaniel, has an appetite which seems to have no limits and he is constantly ravenous. Fishnet tights in his tummy
Fishnet tights in Dexter’s tummy (Pictures: Vet4Life/Wessex News Agency)
WESSEX NEWS AGENCY email news@britishnews.co.uk mobile 07501 221880 Jim Hardy A dog fitted with a muzzle to stop him eating everything in sight got his revenge - he ate the muzzle. Dexter, an 18-month-old spaniel, has an appetite which seems to have no limits and he is constantly ravenous. Chewed up tennis ball in Dexter's tummy
A chewed up tennis ball makes an appearance on the X-ray machine in yet another trip to the vets (Pictures: Vet4Life/Wessex News Agency)

‘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.

Make a Tug Toy From Old Clothes. Does your dog love to play tug? Got some extra t-shirts lying around? Make your own toy by braiding one of your old t-shirts into a tug toy rather than throwing them out.

‘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.