A Fife dog owner has urged others to beware of grit, after her dog was left unable to walk due to possible rock salt poisoning.
Hayley Fitchet, a 25-year-old from Tayport, believes her beloved lab-collie cross, Milo, became sick after licking up too much grit.
The concerned owner said: “Milo started to have really bad diarrhoea and he wasn’t his normal self.
“He was quite lethargic, and because of his breed, he’s usually quite full of energy.
“I monitored him for a while to make sure he was still drinking but then he started to be sick as well, only once but a worrying sign for dogs/puppies.
“Milo has quite a sensitive tummy at the best of times and I always monitor what he eats and have him on a strict diet so this was quite out of the ordinary.”
‘His back legs completely gave up on him’
The one-year-old puppy’s condition quickly became worse.
Hayley said: “Within 24 hours of this, he really started to deteriorate; so much so that he had no strength to lift himself up, his back legs completely gave up on him.
“He still had a bad tummy at this point and when he needed to go out to the garden for the toilet, I had to lift his back legs up and make sure he was stable.
“This went on from the 5th into the 6th and I hadn’t slept at all. I had to give him water through a syringe and he wasn’t interested in food at all.
“This is my first dog so I was extremely worried about him, he’s only one. When he started to deteriorate, I thought I’d lost him, it was that bad.”
However, Milo soon started to gain a little more strength and the use of his legs.
Scottish SPCA Chief Superintendent Mike Flynn recently warned that grit can irritate animals’ paws and may upset your their digestive system
Toxic to cats and dogs
In high doses, the rock salt found in grit can be toxic to dogs and cats.
While Milo is now back to his usual self, Hayley has warned others to be careful when walking their pet this winter.
She said: “Once he was showing signs of improving it got me thinking about what this could have been, and the only conclusion that I can come to is the grit out on the roads and pavements.
“I always wash his paws after a walk and I make sure he doesn’t lick anything while we’re out but he can lick his paws at times. It could be there were bits of grit I’ve missed.
“He’s maybe licked something when I haven’t been paying attention, but I’ll never know for sure what happened.
“Dog owners should really be cleaning/washing dogs paws whenever they get home, checking if there is redness on their paws.”