A dog from Southampton has needed a life saving operation after he swallowed a string of Christmas lights.
7 year old Charlie's owner took him to the vets after spotting a wire in his poo, when he 'did his business' in the garden.
Vets at Southampton's PDSA PetAid hospital were amazed when an x-ray revealed a large mass of wires in his stomach, which could have killed him.
Owner Sharon Fay says: “I hadn’t even noticed that the lights had been chewed at this stage but it quickly became clear what had happened.”
The tangled remains of the decorations clearly showed up in his stomach on the x-ray.
Charlie was rushed into the operating theatre, where vets removed the lights, they also found a shoelace as well.
PDSA Senior Veterinary Surgeon, Sophie Bell, said that she had never seen a case like this before. “Over the years I’ve seen plenty of cases of dogs swallowing strange objects – socks, dummies, rubber ducks, but it’s the first time any of us have treated a dog that has actually eaten fairy lights!
“A foreign body of this nature could easily have caused severe internal injuries so Charlie was very, very lucky. He was also fortunate that the glass didn’t cut his mouth or throat. And he could have been electrocuted if he’d bitten through the wire when the lights were switched on.
“With the Christmas season upon us, I’d advise owners to keep any edible items out of reach of inquisitive pets to avoid them from becoming ill over the festive season.”
After his treatment, Charlie returned home and has since gone on to make a full recovery.
Commenting on Charlie’s actions, Sharon said: “I re-homed Charlie about a year ago, so I don’t know whether he used to do this type of thing when he was a puppy. Back in March he ate one of my scarves and needed an operation to remove it, but I thought it was just a one off incident as he hadn’t shown any signs that he was going to be a repeat offender! I’ve had dogs all my life and have never known a dog act like this before - I’ll certainly be keeping an extra close eye on him from now on and have Charlie-proofed my house now!”
PDSA is advising pet owners to be extra cautious this Christmas.
The charity has produced a Christmas safety list for pet owners to follow to help prevent any festive pet disasters:
PDSA’s Top 5 Christmas Hazards
1. Swallowing foreign bodies – accidents have included swallowing toys and decorations
2. Accidental poisoning through chocolate, raisins (so Christmas cake and Christmas pudding is strictly off the menu for pets), artificial sweeteners, peanuts and other nuts, and batteries
3. Gastric torsion – twisted stomach often caused by vigorous exercise after a large meal
4. Hypothermia – low body temperature from exposure to cold weather
5. Accidental injury – pulling over the Christmas tree, slipping on ice, chewing on electric cables, treading on broken baubles