A heartbroken couple are calling on supermarkets to stop selling dog bones after watching their Miniature Schnauzer suffer an agonising death on Christmas day.
Anna Carey and James Lancaster thought nothing of it when a friend gave two-year-old Burtie a Bob Martin’s Premium Ham Bone, from Tesco, as a Christmas treat.
But on Christmas Eve they awoke to find their dog had been sick during the night and was unable to move without great discomfort. An X-Ray at the vets revealed fragments of bone had become lodged in the dog’s stomach and intestines.
Burtie was given painkillers and anti-nausea injections and the couple were told to take him home and monitor him closely in the hope he would pass the bone naturally.
Later that night, with Burtie showing no improvement, they took him to Grove Lodge Veterinary Hospital, in Worthing, where he was put on an overnight drip and given more painkillers.
On Christmas day the couple received a phone call to say the painkillers weren’t working and that Burtie – who turned two on Christmas Eve – was showing signs of depression. Vets were fearful of internal infection and a decision was taken to operate.
Four hours later Anna and James received a call to say Burtie’s stomach had been ruptured by the bone and that despite the vets’ best efforts there was not enough healthy stomach tissue to keep Burtie alive. A decision was taken to put him to sleep.
The couple, from Warwick Road, Worthing, had given Burtie bones before, but they were always raw beef bones, which he gnawed over a period of weeks. On this occasion the bone was a cured ham bone, which vets said were more dangerous.
Mr Lancaster, 35, said: “Burtie was part of the family and we absolutely adored him. He was very cute and was popular with friends and other dog walkers. His loss has come as a great shock, but we are determined some good should come of it. We want people to be aware of the dangers involved in giving your dog a bone – particularly cured or cooked ones – and are calling on supermarkets to stop selling them.”
Ms Carey, 34, said: “It seems unbelievable, and perverse, that a potentially lethal product can be packaged up as a dog treat and sold to unsuspecting pet owners. These products should be taken off the shelves to prevent more, inevitable, heartache.”
The couple, who were left with a £2,300 vet bill, are now seeking compensation from Tesco and urging the retail giant to stop stocking the bones.