Two dogs nearly died after eating mould-covered seeds while on a walk between Saltford and Kelston.
As their pets recover at home after an emergency dash to the vets, Justina Robbins and Vicky Berry, who are both from Saltford, want to alert other local dog owners to what happened.
Justina and her cockapoo Lolli, pictured above right, were out exercising, at a social distance, with Vicky and her Bichon Frise Billy, on the left, on Friday when they stopped for a break near Kelston Mill. They realised the dogs were eating something and got them away before continuing with their walk.
Justina said: “I want to tell everyone about how I nearly lost my beautiful Lolli. Her good friend Billy was also unfortunately victim to toxic poisoning caused by eating mouldy seed. Within half an hour Lolli began shaking and started to fit. This continued during our quick walk home and we rushed them both to the vets as Billy had also started shaking.
“Their stomachs were flushed out and they were described as being in critical condition. Lolli was put under a general anaesthetic due to her seizures. We were told they were too unstable to be safely transported to hospital and there were no pet ambulances. They had to be driven to hospital in a staff member’s car in order to receive the urgent care they needed.
“We were told they could die on the way. Billy and Lolli both made it there under sedation. Billy was monitored through the night due to tremors and Lolli had to remain sedated. I received a phone call at 11.30pm giving me the choice of having Lolli put to sleep or to see how it goes as she had taken a turn for the worse.
“At that point we thought we would never see her again and were totally devastated. It was touch and go all night and she was unstable through the day. They both very slowly improved, and Lolli has had no more seizures. They are now being looked after at home, although there are still concerns and need to be closely monitored.”
She added: “I cannot thank Fernlea Hanham vets and Vets Now Emergency Vet at Zetland Road in Redland enough for their fantastic dedication to our lovely pets. They certainly saved both their lives.
“I suppose the moral of this story is not to allow your dog, if you can, eat anything when out on a walk.
“This happened as you go to Kelston Mill then through the field with the donkeys. The other side of this field is a bridge and a footpath. On both sides of the path are inadequate fences to keep animals wandering onto private land. It was on the border of the path that they found the seed which was toxic and nearly killed them both.”
The dogs are on medication, including charcoal to neutralise the toxins.
Justina has returned to the site and photographed what the dogs were eating, below. She says she has reported the incident to B&NES Council and in the meantime urges other dog walkers going through the site to beware.