Woman issues stark warning to dog owners after her chihuahua almost dies from eating Easter egg
31 March 2021, 13:31
Dog owners are being told to stay vigilant over the Easter holiday in order to protect their pets.
A woman has warned fellow dog owners to be cautious when storing Easter Eggs around the house after her chihuahua almost died.
Tracy, from Chatham, Kent, almost lost two-year-old Bailey after he consumed a whole milk chocolate Easter egg which was hidden under her son's pillow.
The 39-year-old woman told the Liverpool Echo that she first noticed something was wrong with Bailey after he started acting strangely.
She said she noticed he was "lethargic" and "wasn't himself" before finding the Easter egg foil with all the chocolate gone.
Tracey said she knew she had to act urgently, and called The People's Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA).
The woman said: "I'm very careful with chocolate around our dogs as I know it's poisonous for them, but my seven-year-old son had hidden an egg under a pillow thinking Bailey wouldn't be able to find it."
After being taken to the PDSA – which treats hundreds of chocolate poisonings a year – Bailey was quickly taken for a treatment to make him vomit before his body started absorbing the toxins.
Because Bailey was a small breed, the chocolate could have been deadly.
PDSA senior vet Soo Ming Teoh said: "We estimated that Bailey had eaten about half an Easter egg, which is an extremely dangerous amount for a dog of his very small size, therefore we knew he was at risk of serious disturbances to his heart rhythm or even seizures.
"Thankfully he was brought in very quickly and we were able to give him life-saving treatment before too much of the toxin got into his system."
She went on: "He needed close monitoring and intravenous fluid support due to an increased heart rate, likely caused by the amount of chocolate he'd eaten.
"But after a few hours of observation and treatment, he was able to go home with instructions to keep a close eye on him overnight."
Following the incident, Tracey said: "We're so grateful to all of the staff at PDSA. It was devastating when it all happened and I dread to think what would have happened to Bailey without them.
"It took him a little while to fully recover from his ordeal but thankfully he is back to his usual self now and we're keeping chocolate well out of reach so we don't have to go through this scary experience again."
The chemical found in chocolate - theobromine – is toxic to dogs and can cause them to show symptoms such as excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhoea, restlessness and a tender stomach.
These symptoms can later turn into tremors, abnormal hearth rhythm, rapid breathing and a raised temperature.
If you suspect your dog has eaten chocolate, you should call your vet immediately.