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Beloved dog tragically dies after licking mould from food caddy

dexter and georgie 5

5:46am 17th February 2017

Imagine coming home and finding one of your dogs convulsing and struggling to breath.

That was the reality for Sarah Dent, who rushed her pet Dexter to The Wheelhouse Veterinary Centre in Chesham.

Dexter had in fact licked the mould residue from a blown over food caddy and was suffering from toxic shock. By the time Sarah arrived with him at the vets, he was unconscious.

As staff worked to stabilise him, Sarah returned home to find her other dog Georgie suffering from the same symptoms.

Georgie had eaten some of Dexter's vomit which had caused her to fall ill. She'd lost consciousness too by the time Sarah had rushed back to the vets.

dexter and georgie 1

Georgie, left, Dexter, right.

Staff at the veterinary centre worked into the night as infection attacked the dog's insides. Sarah and family were told they probably wouldn't survive the night, and even if they did, being under anaesthetic for so long would likely cause brain damage.

Despite this, both Georgie and Dexter made it through the night.

Georgie looked as if she would recover, but Dexter had to stay in intensive care at the Royal Veterinary College, as some of the toxins had spread to his lungs.

A few days later, the vets in Chesham announced that Dexter had lost the fight and had been put to sleep.

A blood clot in his spleen had broken off and travelled to his heart and lungs, meaning there was nothing more staff could do for him.

dexter and georgie 2

Beloved Dexter, Georgie and family.

In an interview with Mix 96, owner Sarah said:

"Our family are devastated. My children were with me throughout the whole process because my husband was at work, and it was really hard for them to see."

"Dexter was such an amazing little dog. He had a great character and made a massive impact on anyone who met him."

dexter and georgie 3

Sarah and Dexter

The dogs had ingested mycotoxin, which comes from mouldy food.

Kevin Spencelayh is a vet at the Wheelhouse Veterinary Centre. He said:

"It's not all mouldy food that causes it, but a lot of mouldy food can carry this mycotoxin. The onset of symptoms is normally quite quick, usually between half an hour to an hour."

Kevin said that if a pet does ingest mycotoxins, they need to be treated quickly. He added:

"There are some things we can do to help stop it if it's seen straight away. If the dog's brought straight down to us then we can normally make them sick and that can help them bring a lot of it up. But unfortunately if they've started tremoring that can be risky, so in that case we'll usually use things like anaesthetics and anti-seizuring drugs."

dexter and georgie

More of Dexter and family

Sarah now wants to warn other pet owners of the potentially tragic consequences food caddies can have for pets. She said:

"Had I have known, I would have been able to protect my dogs from that danger, and that's something I've got to live with."

"We couldn't save Dexter and we're devastated about that. But if we can raise awareness and make sure that other people can keep their caddies out of reach, then hopefully incidents like this won't continue to become more common."

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