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German Shepherd pup gets the CHOC of her life

A seven-month-old German Shepherd from Barnsley who needed life-saving treatment after gorging on a lethal dose of dark chocolate and raisins has been saved – thanks to PDSA vets.

At PDSA, we treat hundreds of chocolate poisoning cases every year, so we’re urging pet owners to keep chocolate goodies well away from prying paws this World Chocolate Day (7 July) after Narla’s life was left hanging in the balance.

Owner Victoria Day from Mapplewell, Barnsley, said: “We went to the corner shop very briefly, leaving Narla in the kitchen with the safety gate on. And while we were out she must have jumped over the gate and into the living room where my kids had left out some dark chocolate with raisins.

“Narla started being sick repeatedly so I rang the Sheffield PDSA Pet Hospital, who told me to bring her straight in.”

Although Narla had been sick at home, with the toxic risk that both chocolate and raisins pose to dogs, she was hospitalised and put on a drip to flush any remaining toxins out of her body. Narla’s condition meant she needed close monitoring and a two night stay at our Pet Hospital, under close supervision of the vet team. Theobromine, the chemical in chocolate, can cause seizures and heart problems and as Narla had eaten raisins as well, her kidney function needed to be closely monitored through blood tests, as raisins can cause kidney failure in some dogs.

PDSA Senior Vet Robert Haselgrove said: “Chocolate can be extremely poisonous to dogs. Even small amounts can be dangerous – but even more so in Narla’s case after eating 500g of dark chocolate with raisins. Raisins can be highly toxic to dogs too, which is why we were very concerned her kidneys could have been affected.

“The amount of chocolate Narla had eaten could have been lethal without treatment but thankfully we were able to provide life-saving treatment before it was too late.”

Owner Victoria Day added: “I’m so grateful to PDSA for everything they did for Narla – they saved her life and I don’t know what our family would have done without them.

“It was an extremely worrying time for everyone in our family and my children were beside themselves too, fearing she might not make it. We want to tell Narla’s story to stop other people going through the same horrific ordeal.”

Robert added: “Without rapid treatment, chocolate poisoning can cause seizures, heart problems and in severe cases, death. It’s best to contact the vet as soon as you notice your pet’s eaten something they shouldn’t rather than waiting for symptoms, as by the time you see these signs the toxin has already passed into the body.”

If you think your pet might have eaten something they shouldn’t, call your vet immediately as they might need urgent treatment.

For more information on what foods might be poisonous to our pets, visit: www.pdsa.org.uk/poisons.

Vet charity PDSA provides a vital service for the UK’s pets whose owners struggle to afford treatment costs for their sick and injured pets. For many vulnerable pets, we are there to help when there is nowhere else for their owners to turn.

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