An Eastbourne dog could have died after scoffing a tub of chewy sweets.
Phoenix wolfed down the Starburst ‘fruity mixies’ after discovering them on a sofa while his owner Teresa Dade was out.
Unbeknownst to the eight-year-old cross, the sugar-free sweets contain a sweetener called xylitol which can be deadly for canines.
Teresa realised something was wrong when she returned home and found a suspiciously empty box had been carried up to her bedroom.
Fearing the worst, the teacher did a quick Google search and read the sugar substitute in the sweets can cause low blood sugar and even liver failure for dogs.
Teresa quickly rushed her beloved pet to Vets Now emergency clinic in Eastbourne, and he was admitted straight away for emergency tests.
Fortunately for Phoenix, there was no major harm done.
Teresa, 59, said, “Phoenix had a very lucky escape. He’s always keen on eating things he shouldn’t eat and he’s got hold of boxes of chocolates before – but never anything like this.”
Phoenix was adopted by Teresa from Romania after she saw his mischievous face on the website of a dog refuge called Love Underdogs.
She said, “He’s very determined when he wants to be. The minute I realised what had happened, I knew we had a problem.”
Laura Playforth, Vets Now’s professional standards director, said Teresa definitely did the right thing in rushing Phoenix in.
She said, “A recent study into ingestion of this product reported it commonly causes severe hypoglycaemia in dogs within one to two hours of ingestion.
“In traditional types of sugar-free gum, clinical signs don’t tend to show for up to 12 hours.
“One of the recommendations from the study was that dogs who swallow Starburst gums should be taken to a vet immediately for assessment and treatment.
“It goes to show that Phoenix is a lucky dog – and there’s no doubt Phoenix is an extremely appropriate name for him!”
Signs of xylitol poisoning include vomiting, convulsions and collapse and treatment usually involves inducing sickness, giving fluids and replenishing blood glucose levels and prescribing activated charcoal to absorb any leftover toxins.
The Vets Now clinic in Eastbourne — where Phoenix received treatment — is one of more than 60 across the UK that are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends and bank holidays, to treat any pet emergencies.