South East Wales

Dog nearly dies eating chocolate Easter egg, says PDSA

Poppy and vet nurse Karen Jones with an Easter egg
Image caption A recovered Poppy with vet nurse Karen Jones and an Easter egg

Dog owners are being warned to keep Easter eggs well out of reach of their pets after a dog from Cardiff ate some and nearly died.

Sally Riella came home from work to discover Poppy had devoured the chocolate eggs in her shopping.

As little as 500g (1.1lbs) can prove fatal to a dog of Poppy's size as they are allergic to a chemical in chocolate called theobromine.

Poppy recovered within two days after treatment by the PDSA in Cardiff.

PDSA senior veterinary surgeon Elaine Pendlebury said: "The effects of chocolate poisoning in dogs usually appear within four hours of eating, and can last as long as 24 hours.

"In severe cases dogs can experience fits, kidney failure or even death."

Initial signs can include excessive thirst, vomiting, diarrhoea, a sore stomach and restlessness. These symptoms can then progress to tremors, an abnormal heart rhythm, raised body temperature and rapid breathing.

'Safely and securely'

Across the UK the PDSA treated over 400 dogs for chocolate poisoning last Easter.

And while Poppy accidentally ate the egg, a survey for the charity reveals that seven per cent of owners regularly give their dogs chocolate as a treat.

"Owners should store chocolates in the same way as medicines when they have pets in their household - safely and securely," said Ms Pendlebury.

"If you can't resist giving them a little Easter treat, make sure it is something pet-friendly, suitable and safe. A new toy or a nice long walk is a good alternative."

Poppy, a Yorkshire Terrier/Bichon Frise cross, was taken to the PDSA hospital in Cardiff where she received activated charcoal and IV fluids, and made a full recovery within two days.

'Means the world'

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Media caption"I was quite shocked that she had to stay in overnight"

Her owner Ms Riella said: "Poppy is such a cheeky little character but she has never done anything like this before.

"I'd been shopping that morning and had to rush out, so a few bags were left on the floor.

"I never dreamt for one minute what could happen. One of the Easter eggs had been crushed, so Poppy must have decided it would be good to eat - she never touched the second egg in the bag, which was still in the wrapper.

"I'm so grateful to PDSA for saving Poppy's life. She means the world to me and I'd be devastated if anything happened to her.

"From now on, any chocolate in the house will be locked safely away out of Poppy's reach."

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