Disinfectant mishap nearly costs a dog her sight - and life

Jack Russell cross Ruby very nearly lost her sight after an unfortunate meeting with a bottle of disinfectant. When owner Gary James noticed that the 11-year-old dog had splashed herself with a small amount of disinfectant from a bottle, he immediately rushed to wash it off her face. Ruby seemed unaffected, and it was only the next morning that Gary found her sick, struggling to breathe.

Ruby was rushed to the Bournemouth PDSA Pet Hospital, and things were not looking bright.

PDSA vet Emily Sharp said, “Ruby was in a critical condition. Her tongue was very swollen, she was foaming at the mouth and severely dehydrated. She was put on a drip and given pain relief. We monitored her closely. At this stage, there were no signs of chemical burns – it was unclear what was causing the problem. But 12 hours later, a discharge around her eyes, nose and mouth started to appear. Further tests revealed both eyes were severely ulcerated as both corneas had suffered chemical burns. The skin around her nose and mouth was inflamed, which we then attributed to the household detergent she came into contact with the previous day.”

With both Ruby's sight and life on the line, the vet staff had to consider whether it may be kinder to put her to sleep. Still, they decided to give her a fighting chance, providing intensive care and eye drops, and it paid off: Ruby has since made an amazing recovery, and is back home with her family.

“Ruby has been part of our family since she was six-months-old and my children love her to bits," Gary said. "Obviously we keep harmful things out of her reach but on this one occasion she came across a disinfectant bottle and bit into it. It was quite out of character but shows you just can’t be too careful."

PDSA vet Emily Sharp said, “Ruby had a lucky escape from an horrific ordeal. It highlights that there are many hidden dangers in our homes that can harm our pets. I’d urge all pet owners to ensure chemicals are well out of reach of prying paws. Speak to your vet if you’re worried they may have come into contact with something potentially unsafe.”

Image by PDSA.