Sunday 26 October 2014

Dog swallows Christmas fairy lights

Published 17/12/2012 | 16:09

Charlie, a seven-year-old crossbreed dog from Southampton, had life-saving surgery after eating Christmas fairy lights (PA/PDSA)
An X-ray shows the fairy lights inside crossbreed dog Charlie (PA/PDSA)

It could have been "lights out" for a dog that swallowed a foot of Christmas fairy lights if a team of vets had not performed life-saving surgery on him.

Charlie, a seven-year-old crossbreed dog from Southampton, was saved by surgeons from veterinary charity PDSA after wolfing down his family's Christmas lights recently.

And the dog has a track record for getting his paws, and teeth, on household objects, having once eaten his owner Sharon Fay's scarf.

Ms Fay, who aptly refers to her dog as the "light of her life", became concerned when she noticed bits of wire sticking out of Charlie's faeces in the garden.

The 45-year-old said: "I hadn't even noticed that the lights had been chewed at this stage but it quickly became clear what had happened.

"Back in March he ate one of my scarves and needed an operation to remove it, but I thought it was just a one-off incident as he hadn't shown any signs that he was going to be a repeat offender. I've had dogs all my life and have never known a dog act like this before."

An X-ray immediately cast a light on Charlie's problem - the tangled remains of the decorations clearly showed up in his stomach and would have proved fatal if they were not removed. Vets rushed Charlie to the operating table and removed the Christmas decorations, also finding a shoelace.

PDSA senior veterinary surgeon Sophie Bell said that she had never seen a case like this before.

"Over the years I've seen plenty of cases of dogs swallowing strange objects - socks, dummies, rubber ducks, but it's the first time any of us have treated a dog that has actually eaten fairy lights," she said.

Charlie returned home and has since gone on to make a full recovery, much to the delight of his owner. Ms Fay said: "I'll certainly be keeping an extra close eye on him from now on and have Charlie-proofed my house now."

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