A dog had to be rushed into life-saving surgery after he wolfed down chocolate coins and the foil they were wrapped in.
Hugo the six-year-old Staffie was left home alone in Plymouth, Devon, for a short time while his owner Amie did some Christmas shopping.
But it turns out Hugo did not need much time before he began tucking into the festive treats lying around the house.
When Amie returned, she discovered her pet had ransacked six packs of chocolate coins.
She said: ‘At first Hugo seemed fine, but I felt sick with worry when he began vomiting blood. He then had a seizure which was terrifying.’
Amie rushed him to a People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) vet, who sedated Hugo and gave him an X-ray, revealing the dog’s stomach was full of foil and needed surgery.
Hugo was in a really bad way and needed an intravenous fluid drip, medication and intensive nursing care. He was kept in overnight but allowed back home the next day.
Veterinary nurse Donna Southwould said: ‘Hugo was very lucky, and could have died if he had not been treated in time. While he’s not completely out of the woods yet, thankfully Hugo is now at home on strict rest, and on the road to recovery.’
Amie and Ms Southwould want to warn people about the dangers of chocolate and other Christmas treats.
Ms Southwould added: ‘Foods including chocolate, mince pies, onions, raisins, grapes, some nuts, sage-and-onion stuffing and Christmas cake can all be harmful and should be kept safely out of paws’ reach.
‘Instead of extra food, why not try giving your pets some extra playtime over Christmas?’
Amie said: ‘I don’t know what I would have done without the incredibly kind and caring staff at PDSA – they were amazing. I honestly don’t think Hugo would be here without them.
‘They went above and beyond for him and I will be forever grateful. There were a number of times I thought we were going to lose him, so to have him home for Christmas is a miracle.’
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