Tipsy Spaniels prompt sobering warning

Vets from the Prince Bishop Veterinary Hospital in Leadgate, near Consettin, are issuing a warning for dog owners to lock away their alcohol after treating a pair of Spaniels who got drunk on a bottle of  Advocaat that owners Fiona and Anthony Robson believed to have placed out of reach.

It is thought that Brecon, a Cocker Spaniel, was the one to knock down the bottle from the bench in the utility room  where it had been left - leaving Clumber Spaniels Martha and Oscar to lick up the drink, made from eggs, sugar and brandy. Upon return, Fiona and Anthony could see right away that something was wrong.

Fiona said, “Brecon, who was clearly the ring-leader as he jumps on benches, was absolutely fine. Oscar was standing in the corner of the utility room looking sheepish and drowsy. Martha was literally staggering and swaying and fell over when I tried to grab her collar.

“I was panic-stricken as we are so careful with our pets and could never have imagined anything like this happening. Prince Bishop have been my vets for 30 years so I rushed them there."

Alcohol poisoning can be potentially fatal to dogs, but Oscar and Martha were in good hands. Vet Emma Hindson immediately induced vomiting before feeding them activated charcoal to absorb the remaining alcohol.

Dr Hindson said, “Brecon was absolutely fine, but the other two were a bit wobbly. After inducing vomiting and giving them charcoal, we kept them in for observation as the main concern is dehydration, but they were fine. This was an unfortunate accident and their owner did the right thing by bringing them in immediately for treatment. Her responsible action meant everything turned out fine and they could go home.”

Fiona said, “Now they’re fine, I can see the funny side of it – but I won’t be keeping bottles on the top of the unit anymore. I would advise pet owners to keep everything locked away.”

The Prince Bishop Vets team are urging owners to keep alcohol locked away, mop up spillages, and call vets immediately if pets drink anything.

Dr Hindson added: “A lot of dogs seem to like the taste so if they drink alcohol, bring them in straight away rather than wait for the side effects. Drinking too much can cause vomiting, they can become agitated or excitable, depressed, drowsy and disorientated and in extreme cases can go into a coma.”

Images by Prince Bishop Veterinary Hospital.