A Derry dog owner has pleaded with local people not to drop litter following “a horrific incident” in which her beloved pet dog was left critically ill after swallowing glass and chocolate on Saturday.
Carmine Gallagher was out walking with Jake, her eight year old Golden Retriever on Saturday afternoon when the dog spotted some chocolate spread on a grass verge.
Carmine felt the dog pull at the lead and saw him scoff the chocolate - which in itself is poisonous to dogs. But she was further horrified to see that the dog had been munching on a broken Nutella jar and blood was “pouring from his mouth”.
“I’m not sure is someone purposely threw it away, or it fell from their shopping and smashed - but nonetheless the jar was left, in large shards on the grass verge.
“Blood was pouring from Jake’s mouth - and I was becoming more and more hysterical. I didn’t have my phone with me and all I could think was that he had eaten chocolate and clearly had ingested some glass as well.”
A passing walker was able to help Carmine call for help - and she took Jake to Whitehouse vets who carried out emergency surgery.
“I can’t thank them enough. They aren’t even our normal vets but they took him straight in. He needed to be sedated immediately so they could treat him.”
Jake underwent major surgery, where his stomach was opened and large pieces of glass removed. The largest piece was three inches by two-and-a-half inches.
He is now on painkillers and antibiotics and remains at risk for infection.
“I’m very emotional about it, because he’s like one of the family,” Carmine said. “I can’t understand how people can just toss things aside and not care about what damage they could do.
“Yes, it was Jake this time - but a runner could have stood on the glass, or a child picked it up. There’s no excuse for it.”
Following the incident, Carmine herself went back to the scene and cleared up the remaining chocolate and glass.