'Miracle’ recovery after near-tragedy with disinfectant
Pet pooch’s sight saved thanks to PDSA
A Poole dog almost blinded and left fighting for life after chewing a disinfectant bottle has made a miraculous recovery, thanks to PDSA vets.
Jack Russell cross, Ruby (11), briefly got her paws on the bottle and a small amount splashed in her face. When owner, Gary James (44), saw what happened he immediately washed her face with water, and she seemed unaffected.
But the following morning Gary awoke to find Ruby struggling to breathe and she was in a very bad way.
Gary rushed Ruby to Bournemouth PDSA Pet Hospital, where she was admitted for emergency treatment.
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.”
Now PDSA vets were battling to save not only Ruby’s sight, but her life. She wasn’t eating due to the swelling and pain in her mouth, so was getting weaker by the day. And she couldn’t lubricate her eyes so antibiotics and drops were administered around the clock, day and night, in a bid to prevent her from going blind.
PDSA vet Emily Sharp continues: “Ruby’s condition was so severe that we had to consider whether it would be kindest to put her to sleep. She is a much-loved family pet, and her quality of life is the most important thing. But due to the intensive care and treatment she received, Ruby started eating and the swelling began to go down.”
After five days in PDSA’s Bournemouth Pet Hospital, Ruby was allowed home. Gary continued her recuperation by putting the drops in her eyes and continuing her medication.
Gary said: “Ruby has been part of our family since she was six-months-old and my children love her to bits. 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.
“I washed her face, and everything seemed fine. But next morning I was so shocked when I saw her. We were all devastated when we thought we were going to lose her. I’m so grateful to PDSA for saving Ruby’s life, I don’t know what we would have done without them. I can’t thank them enough.”
PDSA vet Emily Sharp concluded: “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.”
Ruby has gone on to make a remarkable recovery. Her treatment cost PDSA over £500, and was only possible thanks to the support the charity receives from animal lovers around the country.
To make a donation to support PDSA’s life-saving work text PAWS to 70111 to donate £3.
PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity, treating 470,000 pets annually across its 51 Pet Hospitals. The charity strives to improve all pets’ lives through education, preventive care and emergency treatment. For more information visit www.pdsa.org.uk.