Vets warning as puppy survives after stealing a washing capsule

A York veterinary practice is warning dog owners to keep washing capsules out of reach of pets after a mischievous puppy was left fighting for her life.

Angel, a 19-week old Jack Russell, was left seriously ill after biting into a liquid washing capsule after the box containing the products was left unopened on the floor.

The much-loved pet spent five days at the Minster Veterinary Practice in Salisbury Road after being rushed to the hospital by worried owner Clare Holtby-Grey.

She was vomiting, coughing and sneezing with bubbles coming down her nose, while there were also fears that it could lead to a life-threatening pneumonia. She was given medication, comprising of anti-vomiting drugs, medication to stop the foaming, pain relief and antibiotics.

The tiny pup then had to stay at the veterinary hospital for ongoing treatment and observation.

Thanks to the care and skills of vets and nurses, Angel has made a full recovery and returned to the practice this week so her owner could thank the veterinary team that saved her life.

Clare and vet Ruth Stevens, who helped to treat Angel, are both warning owners about the danger of washing capsules and urging them to keep the products well away from pets. Within just weeks, the practice saw another case of a dog suspected of biting into a washing tablet but it, too, made a full recovery.

Clare who lives in York city centre, said: “It all happened in a split-second as the pot of washing capsules was momentarily on the floor without the lid on while the washing machine was being loaded.

“Angel is so playful and curious so she grabbed one before I could stop her, and it burst in her mouth. We quickly washed her skin and mouth as we knew it was dangerous. She was constantly vomiting. This could happen to anyone so I would urge all owners to be cautious as it is not just babies and children they should be kept hidden from.”

Vet Ruth Stevens from Minster Vets said: “Because the washing capsules contain a foaming agent, there was a real danger of bubbles being breathed into her lungs, which could have caused serious pneumonia. If that happens, it is extremely dangerous and in a tiny puppy could easily be fatal.

“Our advice is that, as you would with babies and children, make sure these washing capsules are stored in cupboards that aren’t at floor level. Be extra vigilant if washing machine doors are open, with access to the washing capsules and while washing is being put into the machine.”

Ruth added: “If owners think their cat or dog may have bitten into or swallowed washing capsules, then like Clare with Angel, it is important to wash off any detergent from around the mouth and on the fur, and to contact their vets immediately. Irritation to the mouth, tongue and throat can lead to breathing difficulties.”

The drama happened at the end of December and Angel has only just fill recovered.

Clare said: “I don’t want this to happen to anyone else as it could have been so serious. I was heartbroken having to leave her at the vets and wondering if I was ever going to see her again.

Everyone at Minster was amazing and she is alive because of them. As she has spent time in hospital, she’s a little vulnerable and clinging to me but she’s putting weight on and growing now. Having a puppy is like having a toddler who is starting to crawl and you have to watch everything they do.”