A family has been left heartbroken after their dog suffered a suspected heart attack thought to be brought on by the sound of fireworks.Kayleigh Coates, 36, from Rock in Telford, is devastated after her six-year-old retired greyhound, Tiger, died. Tiger is thought to have had a heart attack ‘induced by the noise of fireworks’ as people celebrated Bonfire Night on Friday.
His heartbroken owner is hoping to help other families avoid the same tragedy by sharing her story.
The mother-of-two said her family adopted Tiger two years ago from the Dudley Greyhound Trust.
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On Thursday evening, he ‘did not cope very well’ with the noise of fireworks going off – but on Friday he became inconsolable as loud bangs filled the night.Kayleigh told the Shropshire Star: ‘Thursday night there were fireworks over in the next street and he did not cope very well but he was alright. ‘Friday night I was with the dogs because the girls were out with their dad and Tiger was completely paralysed.
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‘He was shaking, he did not know what to do with himself, he wouldn’t eat.’Kayleigh said she took a phone call but when she turned around to check on Tiger he was ‘flat out at the back of the sofa and he’d just gone’.
‘My first thought was he had a fit because he was dribbling but as far as we can tell he had a heart attack’, she said.After Tiger died, Kayleigh moved her other greyhound Bo into another room where she put on Classic FM in a bid to keep her calm.
Since Tiger died, Bo has been searching for her friend – adding to the family’s anguish.
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She said: ‘She’s looking for him which is heartbreaking to see because she does not know anything else, they have been together for two years.’
In previous years, Tiger had ‘seemed okay’ with fireworks but this year had been different.
Kayleigh is now suggesting fireworks be removed from general sale and limited to organised displays to minimise stress to dogs.
She said: ‘I did everything I could, I had the TV on loud, all the windows and doors shut, the curtains down, trying to block it out but their ears are so sensitive it does not matter what you do, they can still hear it.
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‘I am not saying do not have fireworks but they should be taken off general sale and the loud ones taken away and use the low end, or low impact ones that do not cause so much distress for animals.’
‘I think they should possibly keep them to big displays that are confined to areas that do not have a lot of houses around them.’Dr Rachel Casey, Dog’s Trust director of canine research and behaviour, said celebrations like Guy Fawkes Night and New Year’s Eve can be fun for humans but are often ‘terrifying and confusing’ for dogs.
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She added: ‘Dogs have approximately four times more sensitive hearing than humans, and can hear much higher frequency sounds than we can – so just imagine how loud the whizz, pop and bang of fireworks can be for a dog.‘Fireworks tend to be sudden, unpredictable and bright. This combination of effects can often have a profoundly negative and in many cases, lasting impact on dogs. ‘Dogs Trust believe fireworks should only be used at public, licensed displays at certain times of the year, and organised events, such as weddings.’
INTERESTING FACT ABOUT YOUR PET: Having a pet in the home can actually lower a child’s likelihood of developing related allergies by as much as 33 percent. Children exposed early on to animals tend to develop stronger immune systems overall.
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