Published: 15:52, 26 March 2021
| Updated: 16:37, 26 March 2021
An adorable cockapoo puppy needed life-saving treatment after swallowing potentially deadly pizza dough.
Mischievous Mabel swooped when her owners - Lucy Trewinnard and her wife Claire from the Tunbridge Wells area - dropped the dough while getting ready to use their outdoor pizza oven for the first time.
Unbaked dough can be lethal to dogs because it expands in their bellies, leading to potentially severe bloating. As the yeast ferments, it also produces carbon dioxide and alcohol which can result in poisoning.
Luckily, Lucy and Claire were alert to the possible risks of pizza dough and they were swiftly on the phone to their local Vets Now pet emergency clinic in Tunbridge Wells, near to their home.
The emergency team arranged to admit seven-month-old Mabel straight away and, on arrival at the clinic, the team carried out a series of checks. They then induced sickness to get rid of the food.
The drama occurred at 1pm on a Saturday afternoon as Lucy and Claire celebrated Claire’s birthday on February 20.
“Since we got Mabel, we’ve been really vigilant with things like onions and garlic which could harm her but I never expected a bit of yeast could be so tricky,” Lucy said.
“It was undoubtedly the most expensive pizza we’ve ever had but the main thing was making sure that Mabel was safe.
“We couldn’t bear it if anything happened to her. She’s become such a big part of our lives already.
“The night we got back from Vets Now, you could tell Mabel was feeling a bit sorry for herself and she kept giving us the ‘feed me please’ eyes.
“But by the next morning, she was pretty much back to normal – running around crazy, burying things down the sofa and playing with the squeaky Santa toy she got for Christmas.”
While eating unbaked bread dough can result in a bloated stomach in pets, in some cases, it can also lead to gastric-dilatation volvulus, or GDV, which is a potentially fatal twisting of the stomach.
In addition, the alcohol from the fermenting yeast can be absorbed into the bloodstream, causing dangerous drops in blood sugar, blood pressure, body temperature and potentially even seizures.
Their warning is especially relevant given the astonishing boom in popularity of pizza ovens during lockdown.
Sales at some retailers have risen by as much as 1400%, as families spend more time at home.
Senior vet nurse Anna Moran, who was part of the team at Vets Now in Tunbridge Wells who treated Mabel, said her owners did the right thing in urgently calling for veterinary help.
“The thing about yeast – which is what gives bread its fluffiness – is that it’s a living organism and, if swallowed by a dog, it continues to expand and that can cause serious health issues. Even small amounts can be dangerous,” she said.
"It was undoubtedly the most expensive pizza we have had...."
“Mabel was a lovely little character and we were pleased to be able to help her.
“We’re also glad to hear the incident didn’t totally ruin Claire’s birthday.”
All of Vets Now’s premises always have a vet and vet nurse on site, although the service is not usually suitable for life-threatening emergencies.
They also offer an online video consultation service to make professional veterinary advice more easily available.