Belfast Telegraph

Monday 28 July 2014

Warning over dogs' eating habits

An x-ray of Indie, a two-year-old Labrador from Bradley Stoke in Gloucestershire, who had surgery twice after eating a toy car and a rubber duck (Rowe Veterinary Group/PA)

Mobile phones, human dentures and underwear are among the unusual items dogs have been munching through, according to a survey of owners.

Of more than 2,000 people quizzed, nearly three-quarters said their pet had eaten something they should not have.

Among them was Indie, a two-year-old Labrador from Bradley Stoke in Gloucestershire, who had surgery twice after eating a toy car and a rubber duck. Others said their pets had been munching on slippers, electrical wires and remote controls.

Overall, 68% of owners said they were concerned their dog might get ill from eating something it should not.

The poll was commissioned by Bayer Animal Health as part of a Be Lungworm Aware campaign which is aiming to inform more pet owners about the potentially fatal parasite.

Owners were warned to be vigilant against their dogs eating common garden slugs and snails, which carry the disease. Despite this, 24% of those surveyed said they had never heard of the illness and 19% admitted their dog eats slugs and snails.

Cases of lungworm are on the increase, with the summer months being the most dangerous time.

Veterinary surgeon and star of TV's Vet Adventures Luke Gamble said: "The spread of lungworm is something that the public, as well as vets, need to take notice of. We know that dogs eat a lot of things they shouldn't and most of the time it's harmless.

"However, if you suspect your dog is eating slugs and snails it's really important that you speak to a vet and ensure your dog is protected from a parasite that can be carried by slugs and snails."

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