A vet has issued a warning to pet owners ahead of Halloween this year after a young dog almost died from eating dangerous human treats. Oak the adorable two-year-old Labrador was nearly killed when he snuck into his owner’s car while it was being unloaded with festive goodies.
The pooch tore open several boxes of Halloween sweets and wolfed down dozens of peppermints containing 100 percent xylitol – a sugar alcohol that is incredibly toxic to dogs. Within minutes, Oak took a bad turn and began suffering from uncontrollable seizures with dangerously low blood glucose levels.
He was rushed to Clyde Vet Group’s Small Animal Hospital in Lanark, where vets Jo Veitch and Holly Wark were on standby with several veterinary nurses.
The team immediately stabilised Oak and treated him with anti-seizure medication, shock rate intravenous fluid therapy and anaesthesia to flush the sweets from his system.
Vets informed his owner that just two to three of the sweets would be a toxic dose for his weight, and without speedy reactions, Oak would have died within just 15 minutes.
Oak was kept in the hospital after a blood test showed his liver enzymes had started to increase – a worrying sign as xylitol ingestion can lead to liver failure in 48 to 72 hours.
Thankfully, the next day tests showed that his liver had almost returned to normal, and Oak was sent home with supplements and follow-up blood checks.
He has since made a full recovery and is back home with his owner Alistair Meyerhoff.
Alistair’s mum, Glenys Meyerhoff – who had rushed Oak to the hospital and witnessed his seizures during the terrifying incident last year – now wants other owners to be aware of the risks sweets can pose to dogs.
She said: “Labradors eat anything they can find. It was one of the most frightening experiences.
“We were told there was a slim, to no chance of survival but that miracles happened. It was tough. You never want to see them in that state. The care was absolutely outstanding.
“The speed at which they worked on him saved his life. Oak is now running around as if nothing has happened.”
Lisa Ferraioli, one of the veterinary nurses, added: “I haven’t seen anything as severe as Oak’s case before. Thankfully, his owners were on the ball and he was here within 10 to 15 minutes otherwise he would have died.
“Due to the owners’ swift reactions on getting the dogs to us, and some fantastic teamwork at Clyde, this ended happily for the dogs and their family. Oak truly is our miracle patient.”
Xylitol is used to sweeten sugar-free products and is found in items such as chewing gum, peanut butter and baked goods, as well as in toothpaste, sunscreen, medication and vitamins.
Canine consumption can lead to liver failure and blood clotting issues, which can be fatal.