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Warning after family dog nearly dies after eating face mask in Grantham

Vets have issued a warning after a cherished family dog nearly died this week after eating a face mask.

Teddy, a one-year-old Cockerpoo, had to undergo emergency life-saving surgery to remove the mask from his stomach after he swallowed it whole over the weekend.

Teddy’s owner Chloe Lyon, 25, described how the one-year-old pooch had taken the fabric mask from her handbag on Saturday night.

Teddy (44466815)
Teddy (44466815)

She said: “I had just put my bag down when Teddy grabbed the face mask and ran away with it. I tried to grab it off him but he just thought it was a fun game. The next thing we knew he had swallowed it whole.”

Chloe and fiancée Luke Parker decided to keep a close eye on Teddy hoping that the face mask would pass through their pet naturally, but when Teddy started refusing his food, Chloe took him to be checked over at the vets.

After an X-ray revealed that the mask was in Teddy’s stomach, he was put under anaesthetic and underwent emergency surgery at Vets4Pets, in London Road, Grantham, to remove the fabric.

Teddy had to be operated on after eating a face mask. (44425293)
Teddy had to be operated on after eating a face mask. (44425293)

Registered veterinary nurse Sarah Brown helped with the surgery and warned that the outcome could have easily been worse.

She said: “Teddy would most certainly have died had he not been operated on. He ate the mask on Saturday and it hadn’t moved from his stomach. It was far too large to be broken down and fit through his intestines.

“It’s not the case for all foreign bodies, some will naturally pass through the gut, but in this case the mass was obvious in the stomach and because the owner knew with certainty the dog had eaten something we could tell from the imaging that it wasn’t going to pass through.

Teddy had to be operated on after eating a face mask. (44425290)
Teddy had to be operated on after eating a face mask. (44425290)

“Teddy was already refusing food and vomiting which can be signs of an obstruction. We ran bloods on Teddy before surgery to check on his body functions and other than being a little dehydrated he was fine. We used intravenous fluid therapy to correct the dehydration during surgery and support his internal organs.

“There are risks with any surgery but the benefits of this one far outweigh the risk and this was definitely a life saving surgery.”

Teddy is now recovering well at home but will need to take it very easy for at least ten days.He is also sporting a collar to prevent him from licking the wound on his abdomen.

Chloe Lyon with Teddy. (44458873)
Chloe Lyon with Teddy. (44458873)

Chloe, an accountant, added: “I slept on the floor with him the night after his surgery but although he’s feeling a bit sorry for himself, he doesn’t seem to be in too much discomfort.”

Sarah is now warning pet owners about the dangers that face masks can pose to pets and local wildlife.

She added: “As there’s lots of face masks being littered at the moment, it’s important to make sure dogs are not picking things up on walks. Teaching your pets the ‘leave it’ command is very useful.

“It’s also a good idea to tear the ear handles before you throw disposable masks away, so they don’t get caught around wildlife. “

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