Dog owners are being warned to keep their pets away from barbecues after a labradoodle nearly died when his greed got the better of him.
Riley, a 20 month old puppy, cheated death twice when he licked a barbecue cleaning brush and swallowed some of the wire bristles.
It was only the quick-thinking of his owners who rushed him to the vet which saved his life.
Leon Tomasevic, aged 39, from Nottingham, told how his greedy labradoodle had munched on the brushes not once but twice.
“The first time was at home, when he’d gone out in the garden in the morning as a puppy and found the barbecue brush lying around,” he said.
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“We had absolutely no idea of the dangers but when he started chewing at it, because of the flavours and scents of the cooking, the tiny bristles just came off.
“He was sick within minutes and our vets were incredibly worried. There were literally hundreds of bristles, and it would have been impossible to operate and get them all out.”
He said the vet’s solution was to bulk-feed Riley, giving him repeated meals of pasta, bread and mashed potato to try to help the bristles pass through naturally without causing damage.
Thankfully, that worked, but a few days later it happened again when Leon and his family were visiting friends.
They were not aware there was a barbecue with a brush in the garden and, before they could do anything, greedy Riley was once again munching away happily, unaware of the dangers.
“I saw he’d gone quiet, which is generally a sign of mischief, and my heart sank when I saw what he was doing – I couldn’t believe it had happened again,” Leon said.
Although it was a Sunday, he called an emergency vets and got him to the surgery as fast as he could.
“He was sick in the car and then he had to be sedated for the X-rays, which showed he was absolutely full to the brim of little wire bristles in his stomach and intestines,” he said.
Riley was allowed home and had to follow the same bulk feeding regime, which worked and Riley is now fine.
But Leon now thinks more should be done to warn dog owners of the risks to their pooches.
“These brushes should be banned, they are absolutely deadly – if you scrub a grill with a cheap one, you’ll see these bristles just fly off and they are real killers,” he said.
His fears are echoed are emergency vets chain, Vets Now, which said it had seen cases of barbecue-related injuries almost double since 2019.
Injuries including dogs eating skewers, charcoal, dangerous corn on the cobs and wire cleaning brushes with lethal spikes.