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Dogs: Christmas Care Advice From Your Local Vet

Christmas is a traditional time for friendship, family and feasting.

But as we enjoy the festive season, spare a thought for those who can’t control their instinct to guzzle!

I know a few dogs who snatch at put themselves at risk by snatching potential foodstuffs and swallowing them without a moment’s thought.

A not-so golden moment for a greedy dog

One such incident happened many years ago. It was a beautiful beloved Golden Retriever, family to a staff member. On an ordinary walk his clever nose noted some bread left on the pavement. Despite being on the lead, he lunged to snatch it up. Clearly not wanting to share he attempted to swallow the morsel whole.

Unfortunately, his eyes were not only ‘too big for his stomach’, they were too big for his gullet!

He had grabbed a whole and rather stale bread roll. It got stuck in his throat and be immediately began to choke. It was devastating to see. He could barely stand. Every breath was a huge effort. It seemed at any moment that he must faint or collapse.

And yet, by the time he had been transferred to the Clinic he was still alive, conscious, but desperately distressed. There was foam at his mouth, and he was turning blue-ish, but he was alive.

The bread roll by now was well beyond the reach of our hands or instruments, having moved into the oesophagus.

Luckily we knew what to do, and quickly transferred him to the nearest site with an endoscope – pretty new tech in those days – and the roll was eased back out with its pincer claw attachment.

So, as you enjoy your feasting this Christmas, remember to keep an eye on what your pets are up to!

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