Edinburgh vets have issued a stark warning after a dog nearly died eating homemade Christmas decorations.
Disaster struck just before Christmas last year when Jane Gardiner, from Livingston, West Lothian, made salt dough decorations from flour, salt and water with her children.
“It was all a bit hectic as my daughter was three and my son was just one-month-old, but I’d made them before and Teisha hadn’t bothered so I didn’t even think there would be an issue,” the mum-of-two said.
Their eight-year-old dog, Teisha, suddenly began to drink copious amounts of water and needed the toilet nearly non-stop.
“I hung them quite high on the tree, but I think my daughter may have put some lower down. Teisha started drinking loads of water, emptying her bowl every time it was filled up and wanting out for the toilet,” Jane said.
“She looked really bloated and I felt something was wrong. When I realised she’d eaten all the salt dough, I knew that was really bad and we needed help fast.”
As it was late in the evening, the family called the Vets Now clinic and were told to take Teisha straight to the Edinburgh clinic.
“The high salt content of the dough led to a dangerously high level of sodium in Teisha’s blood,” said vet Kerrie Lovett.
“Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhoea, increased thirst, urination, lethargy, incoordination, tremors, seizures, coma and potentially death. So, this could have proved fatal.
“Happily, we were able to start fluid therapy treatment straight away and that brought the levels down safely.
“When we were told her sodium levels were sky high and felt it was touch and go, we were really tearful,” said Jane.
“We were worried we might not get our dog back and we didn’t sleep until we were told that while she wasn’t totally off the hook, it was looking better.”
Now Jane and husband Dave are backing the vets calls for families to make extra sure their pets stay away from such festive hazards.
The couple got Staffie-cross Teisha as a rescue five years ago and know to be especially careful as she’s prone to eating anything left around.
“Christmas poses all kind of dangers for pets in the home and even something as seemingly harmless as homemade decorations could be deadly,” Dr Lovett said.
“Dogs are opportunists and will eat almost anything, so you should always seek veterinary advice as early as possible if you are concerned.”
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