A vet practice has reported what it believes to be three cases of poisoning thought to involve dogs eating rotten food from recycling bins or rubbish bags in eight months.
In two cases, the animals died, but the third pet – a Staffordshire bull terrier called Bailey – was saved after staff at Border Vets Galashiels made him vomit up three litres of rotten food, along with the remains of biodegradable bags used for food waste.
Bailey began trembling and became uncoordinated within 15 minutes of scavenging mouldy food from a rubbish bag after being put outside into his owner’s garden to toilet, prior to bedtime.
Fortunately, the dog’s owners saw what had happened and rushed him to the surgery as an out-of-hours emergency.
Expecting the worse
Vet Mel Broad who, with her team, saved the animal, said Bailey’s body temperature was dangerously high, and that he started fitting.
He was so ill, in fact, his owner was initially told to expect the worst.
With Ms Broad staying by his bedside all night, Bailey has now made a full recovery back at home with his family in Hawick.
Half a dozen cases
Ms Broad said: “We see around half a dozen cases a year like this, and we don’t always know what precisely has been ingested.
“We have now had three similar cases. Tragically, the first two died, but the third was seen eating something in the garden so we were able to definitively link the signs to eating mouldy food.
“If ever there is a suspicion of poisoning, knowing what the animal ate can make all the difference to the outcome because we can give specific treatment. If an owner can bring a sample, it makes our job so much easier.
“We use a fantastic toxicology service that can test food samples, as well as clinical samples, to help narrow down the cause.”