A five-month-old puppy had a lucky escape after swallowing part of a rope toy, leaving him needing life-saving surgery.
Gimli, a wire-haired Hungarian Vizla, was with his owner Clarissa Wright at her mother Helena’s home in Cults, in the west of Aberdeen, on July 11 when they noticed he had become lethargic and was unable to eat or drink.
Suspecting he had swallowed something he shouldn’t have, Clarissa and Helena initially thought it may be a pine cone or a piece of deer excrement.
But when Gimli’s condition had not improved by the following day, they realised something was seriously wrong.
Puppy swallowed ‘huge piece’ of toy
The puppy was examined at Town and Country Vets, who decided he needed emergency surgery.
After he went under the knife, vets found a huge piece of rope toy had got stuck in his intestine.
Dogs are unable to digest pieces of rope, which can then get tangled – meaning if Gimli had not had his operation, he could have died.
Thankfully he is on the road to recovery, but Clarissa and Helena now want other pet owners to be aware of the dangers the toys can pose to their animals.
Warning to other owners
“I didn’t know they could be so dangerous, and I have owned dogs all my life,” Helena said.
“Rope gets all tangled round their intestines because they can’t digest it. After what happened to Gimli we looked on the internet and there were lots of stories of people whose dogs sadly didn’t make it.
“Thankfully he has perked up now but we were really, really scared.
“We want other people to know how dangerous it can be. Rope is one of the worst things a dog can ingest but the toys didn’t have any warnings on them.”
Clarissa added the experience had left her “in shock”.
“I thought it might be something minor,” she said.
“My general advice [to dog owners] would be to make sure you don’t buy rope toys as they are actually pretty dangerous. They go right through to the intestine.
“He’s made a very good recovery thankfully, but it was a close shave.”
But the charity urges owners to throw away any toys which are damaged and not leave pets unsupervised.