A warning over food bins has been issued after a family’s pet was left seriously ill from eating mouldy scraps.
Rocky the dog was treated in intensive care at Campsie Veterinary Centre in Derry after suffering repeated seizures after mouldy food from the bins affected his nervous system.
Sinn Féin Environmental spokesperson Councillor Sandra Duffy has urged householders in the Derry area to ensure that the lid on their brown waste bins are firmly closed at all times. Colr. Duffy also urged local people to ensure the lid rims are cleaned after each disposal.
She was speaking after staff at the Campsie vets’ practice issued a similar appeal to local people after Rocky was left severely ill after eating the contents of a brown bin.
The vets in Derry shared a video of the dog via Facebook last week and the video has been watched over 240,000 times since. They stated: “Poor Rocky started fitting uncontrollably, out of the blue. Despite huge doses of sedative medications we could barely control the seizures and he ended up having a propofol infusion to stop his fits.
“After vomiting his stomach contents, the cause of Rocky’s seizures became apparent. Copious amounts of mouldy food had been scavenged from the brown food recycling bin which had been left for emptying. Two weeks of table scraps had been rotting away and growing mould. The mouldy food contained mycotoxins which have severe effects on the nervous system. Rocky was suffering from tremorgenic mycotoxicosis.
“Please ensure your brown bin is securely closed and kept out of reach of your canine family.”
In an update a few days ago the vets said Rocky is now doing really well and is responding well to the medications that limit his tremors (see second part of video).
“He still has a long way to go recovery wise but each day he is progressing that bit further and as you can see from the video recent events haven’t affected his appetite!”
Councillor Duffy said she was shocked after watching the video. “As a dog owner myself this is something that I never thought about until I seen this case,” she said.
“When I looked at the situation around the brown bins I also found other cases where family pets had died after licking toxins from empty bins as well. It’s important that we encourage more people to use the brown bins for getting rid of food waste and also that there is more education around looking after the bins.
“I urge all householders in Derry to ensure that the lid is firmly shut on their brown bins and that they are cleaned after each disposal.”
You can keep up to date with Rocky’s progress on the Campsie Vet Centre Facebook page.