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Hugo, a Staffordshire bull terrier from Plymouth, who had to undergo life-saving surgery after wolfing down six packets of Christmas chocolate coins. Show caption Hugo, a Staffordshire bull terrier from Plymouth, who had to undergo life-saving surgery after wolfing down six packets of Christmas chocolate coins. Photograph: PDSA/PA
Pets

Hugo, a Staffordshire bull terrier, began vomiting blood and could have died without treatment

Mon 27 Dec 2021 11.57 GMT

A dog has undergone life-saving surgery after scoffing six packets of potentially deadly Christmas chocolate coins.

Hugo, a six-year-old Staffordshire bull terrier, helped himself to the chocolate treats – poisonous to dogs – when owner Amie popped to the shops.

She returned to her home in Plymouth, Devon, to find the coins gone and wrappers strewn across the floor, before rushing Hugo to a nearby PDSA pet hospital.

“I’d only been to the shops briefly and came back to find torn-up packets and bits of foil all over the floor, with the chocolate gone,” 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, so I called PDSA immediately.”

Hugo was assessed, sedated and had an X-ray, which revealed his stomach was full of foil, needing surgery to remove it.

Donna Southwould, a PDSA vet nurse, said: “Hugo was kept in overnight after his major surgery. He needed an intravenous fluid drip, medication and intensive nursing care to aid his recovery.

“He 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.”

Advising owners to be aware of the dangers of festive treats for their pets, she added: “Many of us have treats, sweets and chocolates aplenty in the house, and while the festive period can be a time for indulgence, it’s important to remember that some of these foods are very harmful to our pets.

“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.”

Amie added: “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.”

A PDSA spokesperson said: “If you think your pet might have eaten something they shouldn’t, call your vet immediately as they might need urgent treatment.”

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