Pet owners warned of compost bin risk after dogs fall ill
Dog owners have been warned to keep their pets away from compost bins due to the potentially fatal toxins produced in rotting food.
It comes after two rescue dogs, named Cleo and Cobi, were left in a life-threatening condition after eating old potatoes raided from a locked compost caddy that was kept in a shed at their owner's home in Crewe, Cheshire.
The two lurchers were rushed to the PDSA's animal hospital in Stoke-on-Trent where they received hours of intensive care, including medication to reduce fits and an intravenous infusion to combat the effects of the toxins.
"As foods rot, the mould that occurs can produce compounds called mycotoxins," senior PDSA vet Andrew Hunt explained.
"These are naturally occurring substances and while some types can be beneficial, such as penicillin, others can be highly toxic to both humans and animals.
"Cleo and Cobi had eaten a large amount of mouldy food and were suffering from serious mycotoxicosis."
No antidote is available; instead, treatment involved supporting the dogs to help reduce their risk of seizures and other effects of poisoning while their bodies worked through the toxins.
Ash Beresford, who owns the dogs, knew that something was wrong as soon as he saw them.
"I came home to find Cobi shaking with her eyes glazed over, and Cleo was unconscious," he said.
It was only when he spotted the empty bin that he realised what had happened.
Beresford, who has since taken part in a charity climb to raise funds for the PDSA, and is also planning to complete a 'tough-mudder', added: "At one point I was advised to say my goodbyes as it wasn't certain that they would pull through.
"When I got the call early the next morning to say they were out of danger, I can't even begin to describe the relief I felt."
You can find your nearest VetsNow emergency clinic here: https://www.vets-now.com/find-an-emergency-vet
Alternatively you can find your nearest RCVS registered vet practice here: https://findavet.rcvs.org.uk/home