Vet charity PDSA have issued a safety warning regarding the dangers of BBQ leftovers, ahead of this years National BBQ Day.
PDSA vets are warning about the dangers barbecue leftovers can pose to pets this National BBQ Day (Tuesday 16 May) after a beloved dog needed emergency treatment to remove a chicken bone that had become wedged in his mouth.
Seven-year-old Jack Russell Billy got his paws on fragments of chicken bone – believed to have been scavenged from a local barbecue – and attempted to wolf them down.
His owner, Frank Menzies (58), noticed Billy’s distress when he spotted his beloeved rescue dog frantically pawing at his mouth and making a chewing motion.
Frank, who lives in Brighton, explained: “Billy was in the back garden and was rubbing his mouth with his paw as though trying to dislodge something. I went out to investigate and he looked me straight in the eyes before rolling onto his side on the ground. I immediately realised something was very wrong so I picked him up and took him to the PDSA Pet Hospital as quickly as I could.”
Despite Frank’s swift action, Billy was in a lot of pain and discomfort by the time the pair arrived. After examining Billy, PDSA vets discovered a chicken bone had become wedged behind his lower back teeth.
Frank added: “The PDSA team were excellent. They could see that Billy was in a lot of pain and told me that he needed an emergency procedure, which I agreed to without hesitation. The vet was extremely kind and said he would call me as soon as there was an update. I went home and paced up and down the garden for the next few hours, just waiting for news.”
Billy was sedated to allow the bone to be safely removed and x-rays were carried out, revealing additional bone fragments in his stomach. Thankfully, the procedure was a success and Billy returned home later that evening with pain relief and advice to rest.
PDSA Vet Claire Roberts said: “Billy was in a great deal of pain when he arrived at the Pet Hospital, his mouth was so sore that he couldn’t be properly examined. The team had to sedate him so that the bone could be successfully removed and, luckily, there was no damage to his mouth or throat. X-rays of Billy’s stomach identified tiny bone fragments so Frank was advised to feed him bulky food to encourage their safe passage through his digestive system.
“Billy was extremely lucky that the bone in his mouth and the ones in his stomach didn’t cause any serious damage. It is cases such as this that highlight the importance of clearing away any debris, including skewers, bones, and litter, after enjoying a barbecue. What may be some harmless fun in the sun for us can easily have disastrous consequences for pets and wild animals.”
PDSA is warning pet owners of many other potential hazards to think about when organising a barbecue this summer.
- Dangers of heatstroke
Pets can quickly overheat in warm weather, so it’s important to keep your furry friends cool while they’re enjoying time outside.
Signs of heatstroke can vary from excessive panting, confusion, bright red gums, foaming at the mouth, collapse or even seizures. It’s important to ensure your pet can easily head indoors or find some shade when they need to cool down. If your pet is a sun-worshipper, you may need to shut them indoors to prevent overheating.
If you’re planning to host a barbecue on a particularly hot day, consider scheduling an evening soirée instead, when the temperature should be cooler. You can also provide a pet paddling pool so your furry friend can hop in for a refreshing dip. It’s important that they also have access to fresh, clean water at all times, so they can stay hydrated.
- Create a safe space
Having a house full of strangers can be unsettling for our pets, so make sure they can retreat to a comfortable, safe space to relax in peace. Set up a quiet area in a room or corner of the garden, making sure they have access to food, water and a couple of their favourite toys.
- Paw-ping hot
Always keep pets a safe distance from a barbecue. Hot food, oils, coals, and ashes can cause severe burns if they come into contact with their skin, so ensure the grill is cooled down immediately once you finish cooking – being careful not to leave four-legged friends alone while there are still hot items in the area.”
Frank added: “I can’t thank PDSA enough for helping Billy – he means the world to me. My circumstances changed dramatically, and pretty much overnight, when I had two heart attacks and the doctor told me that I had to give up work. With the rising cost of living and everything going up, it is a weight off my mind to know that I can rely on PDSA to help Billy should anything go wrong with him. Everyone at Brighton PDSA Pet Hospital is so caring and professional – the team always puts the health and welfare of the pet they are treating first and I know Billy is in safe hands when he is there.”
In times of hardship pets like Billy will still fall ill or become injured and need emergency care. While Billy’s owner contributed what he could towards his treatment, the total cost of his care came to over £200. PDSA is appealing for donations so that the charity can continue to provide life-saving care to vulnerable pets, whose owners have nowhere else to turn. To donate, visit pdsa.org.uk/donate.