Puppy nearly dies after eating face mask, prompting warning for pet owners

‘Blockages of the stomach and intestines like this are life-threatening,’ says vet

Jane Dalton@JournoJane
Wednesday 17 February 2021 16:15
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<p>Toffee’s life was saved when vets removed the PPE </p>

Toffee’s life was saved when vets removed the PPE

Pet owners have been warned of the dangers of PPE to their animals after a puppy that swallowed a large face mask needed life-saving surgery.

Vets at a Blue Cross animal hospital removed the cloth mask from the Cavalier King Charles spaniel’s stomach in an emergency operation.

Owner Jess Busby had not even realised 11-month-old Toffee had eaten a face mask.

But she realised something was wrong as the puppy’s health deteriorated.

“Toffee was just really lethargic and had lost weight – you could see the bones in his back – and suddenly his whole demeanour changed, and he vomited,” she said.

At the animal hospital in Victoria, London, an ultrasound scan confirmed a large object stuck in Toffee’s stomach.

Senior vet Roisin Bolger, who found the mask when she operated, said: “Toffee was really lucky to be brought into us when he was, because blockages of the stomach and intestines like this are life-threatening.”

Ms Busby said she was shocked by what the vet found: “We still don’t know where he got hold of the mask. He’s so tiny, we wouldn’t have thought he’d be able to swallow something like that.”

It is thought the face mask was in Toffee’s stomach for two weeks.

After the operation, Ms Busby said her puppy was “running around as if nothing happened and is back to his old self”.

Ms Bolger said: “We would urge dog owners to be vigilant around the home and when out and about on walks, and especially those with young puppies and kittens.

“If you think your pet has eaten something it shouldn’t, or you are concerned about repeated vomiting, always contact your vet for advice.”

Additional reporting by PA

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