Dog needed op after taking shine to Christmas lights

It could have been “lights out” for a dog that swallowed a foot of Christmas fairy lights if a team of vets had not performed life-saving surgery on him.

Charlie, a seven-year-old crossbreed dog from Southampton, was saved by surgeons from veterinary charity PDSA after wolfing down his family’s Christmas lights.

The dog has a track record for getting his paws — and teeth — on household objects, having once eaten his owner Sharon Fay’s scarf.

Ms Fay, who aptly refers to her dog as the “light of her life”, became concerned when she noticed bits of wire sticking out of Charlie’s faeces in the garden.

The 45-year-old said: “I hadn’t even noticed that the lights had been chewed at this stage but it quickly became clear what had happened.”

An X-ray immediately cast a light on Charlie’s problem — the tangled remains of the decorations clearly showed up in his stomach and would have proved fatal if they were not removed. Vets rushed Charlie to the operating table and removed the Christmas decorations.

PDSA senior veterinary surgeon Sophie Bell said she had never seen a case like this before. “A foreign body of this nature could easily have caused severe internal injuries so Charlie was very, very lucky. He was also fortunate that the glass didn’t cut his mouth or throat. And he could have been electrocuted if he’d bitten through the wire when the lights were switched on.

“With the Christmas season upon us, I’d advise owners to keep any edible items out of reach of inquisitive pets to avoid them from becoming ill over the festive season.”

Charlie returned home and has since gone on to make a full recovery, much to the delight of his owner.

Ms Fay said: “I’ll certainly be keeping an extra close eye on him from now on and have Charlie-proofed my house now.”

PDSA is advising pet owners to be extra cautious this Christmas.

Its vets see many cases of pets getting their paws on inappropriate festive items every year, ranging from Christmas decorations, chocolate, and cocktail sticks to toys, balloons, and bones — all a familiar sight in many homes.


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