'Xmas miracle!' Dog on brink of death after eating chocolate coins saved by major surgery


The owner of six-year-old Hugo popped to the shop only to find on her return all the treats gone and wrappers strewn across the floor of their home in Plymouth, Devon. The Staffie was rushed to the town’s PDSA pet hospital where vets took the decision to operate, as chocolate can be lethal to dogs, with foil being an additional danger.

Owner Amie said the PDSA treatment was a “Christmas miracle” for Hugo, adding: “I’d only been to the shops briefly and came back to find torn-up packets and bits of foil all over the floor, with the chocolate gone.

“At first Hugo seemed fine, but I felt sick with worry when he began vomiting blood. He then had a seizure which was terrifying, so I called PDSA immediately.”

Once at the hospital, run by the veterinary charity, Hugo was assessed, sedated and had an X-ray which revealed his stomach was full of foil, requiring surgery to remove it.

Donna Southwould, PDSA vet nurse, said: “Hugo was kept in overnight after his major surgery. He needed an intravenous fluid drip, medication and intensive nursing care to aid his recovery.

“He was very lucky, and could have died if he had not been treated in time. While he’s not completely out of the woods yet, thankfully Hugo is now at home on strict rest, and on the road to recovery.”

Advising owners to be aware of the dangers of festive treats for pets, Donna added: “Many of us have treats, sweets and chocolates aplenty in the house and while the festive period can be a time for indulgence, it’s important to remember that some of these foods are very harmful to our pets.

“Foods including chocolate, mince pies, onions, raisins, grapes, some nuts, sage-and-onion stuffing and Christmas cake can all be harmful and should be kept safely out of paws’ reach.

“Instead of extra food, why not try giving your pets some extra playtime over Christmas?”


It has warned that this festive season could be more dangerous for pets than ever before.

In its 2021 PAW Report, researchers found that of the owners who told the PDSA their pets were overweight, 29 percent admitted to giving in when their pet begs for food with a further 19 percent saying they love feeding their pets extra treats.

However, for a medium-sized dog weighing about 20kg, a single serving of turkey is the calorie equivalent of a person eating a large slice of chocolate cake.

Earlier this month, sweet-toothed four-month-old Doberman puppy Ghost also needed life-saving treatment after polishing off an entire advent calendar.

Owner, Erin, from Croydon, said Ghost was at home with her sister when she found the advent calendar ripped to pieces and all 24 chocolates gone.

Erin rushed the poorly pup to the charity’s Croydon PDSA Pet Hospital where he was given treatment to safely make him sick.

He was then given meds to stop his body absorbing any remaining deadly toxins.

Anyone keen to give their puss or pooch a treat this Christmas is advised to offer a small slice of white meat without the skin or any bones.

The PDSA says boiled veg without any sauces should be fine too, but to be mindful of the amount of their normal food given that day to make sure they are not piling on the pounds.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here