The owners of a cocker spaniel were left terrified after it was rushed to the vet in a “comatose state” on Sunday night after eating a pile of horse manure.
Thor, a gold cocker spaniel belonging to Caroline and Gary Irons, was rushed to the Vets Now clinic in Dundee after a walk in the Sidlaws.
The manure is believed to have contained ivermectin, a parasite-destroying chemical which is incredibly toxic to dogs.
The substance left Thor battling for his life, with Caroline claiming that he was “unable to walk or even stand up”.
‘He scoffed it before she could stop him’
She said: “It happened on Sunday, myself and my husband were away for the night so my mother-in-law, Dorothy, was looking after him.
“She took him out for a walk in the Sidlaws on Sunday morning and there was a pile of horse manure which he saw and he must have thought ‘oh I’ll have that.’
“He scoffed a lot of it before my mother-in-law could stop him, then they just continued on with the walk and he was fine.
“About three hours later he vomited the horse poo up in the living room, but she just sort of thought he had it coming.
“Once she was done cleaning it up she noticed that he wouldn’t stand up or anything.”
‘It was like he couldn’t see us’
Caroline and Gary soon arrived home and raced their pet to Vets Now on King’s Cross Road.
As they drove there, Thor began to become even more unwell, with his owner saying it was “like he couldn’t even see us”.
He was rushed inside the clinic by vets, who gave him a drip and used activated charcoal to make him throw up as much of the manure as possible.
Caroline added: “About an hour after we dropped him off we got a call to say that he was in a comatose state, and that the drip had absorbed a lot of ivermectin.
“Luckily, he’s starting to feel a bit better now. We got him home on Monday and he’s been eating.
“He’s not quite his usual crazy self but he seems to be a bit more back to normal.
“He was really, really ill, we thought he wouldn’t make it.”
Warning others of the danger
Ivermectin can be deadly to certain types of dogs, with symptoms including dilated pupils, tremors, drooling, seizures, comas and the inability to breath.
Caroline is now trying to make other dog owners aware of the threat it poses, saying: “I’m glad that more people know about this now.
“It’s a difficult one to protect against because when you’re out in the countryside you do want to let your dog off the lead for a bit so they can explore.
“I guess that my best advice would just be to keep an eye on them when they’re about, and make sure they’re not eating any manure.
“I think people forget how harmful it is.”
Elise Bardsley-Anderson, veterinary surgeon from Vets Now, said: “Thor was really poorly and thanks to his quick-thinking owners who rushed him into our emergency clinic as fast as they could, he is on the road to making a full recovery.
“Our team in Dundee, led by experienced vet Helen, set to work treating him, which included making him sick to empty his stomach completely and giving him medication through a drip to help eliminate further toxins that had already been absorbed into the body.
“Activated charcoal was then given when he was more alert.
“Horse manure can contain chemicals that are poisonous to dogs and the best thing owners can do is keep a close eye on their dog when walking in the countryside or near farm land.
“If your dog has eaten horse manure and is showing symptoms of ivermectin poisoning, such as lethargy, dilated pupils, drooling or vomiting, you should contact your vet immediately for advice.”