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PDSA issues BBQ warning after puppy swallows chicken bone

Vet charity PDSA has issued a BBQ warning after it saved a Staffie puppy who swallowed down a six-inch chicken bone.

The vet charity said that with the sunshine forecast over the next week when temperatures could hit as high as 30C (86F), many people will be enjoying some al-fresco dining in the garden. However, it warned, common treats such as ribs, corn-on-the-cob and chicken drumsticks, can prove fatal to pets if swallowed.

Sapphire, a seven-month-old puppy from Stoke on Trent, had a lucky escape after swallowing a bone. She had been eyeing up a chicken drumstick that 13-year-old Abi Paterson was eating during a family meal, and pounced the moment Abi dropped her guard.

The pooch ran off with her prize bone and swallowed it whole before the family could stop her.

The mum, Lesley (51) from Northwood, immediately contacted PDSA’s Stoke Pet Hospital, and staff told her to bring the pup in straight away. Sapphire was x-rayed before being rushed for emergency surgery to remove the bone.

Kate Cavanagh, PDSA vet, said: “The x-ray showed the bone lodged in Sapphire’s stomach. There was a real risk, due to its size, that it could have led to a life-threatening blockage in her bowel. We knew we had to carry out an emergency operation to remove it as quickly as possible.”

The surgery was a success and the bone was safely removed just an hour-and-a-half after Sapphire swallowed it. The pup was kept in overnight for observation before being allowed home the following day.

PDSA warned that bones can be dangerous to dogs as they can cause digestive tract damage caused by splinters, particularly with cooked chicken bones. Larger pieces of bone can also cause blockages in the throat or bowel, which is life-threatening.

Cavanagh added: “We would advise keeping unsuitable foods out of paws’ reach and sticking to dog friendly chew toys – these don’t present a choking or blockage risk and can also help keep your dog’s teeth clean.”

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