Emergency vets save Chloe, Milo and Teal from suspected mycotoxin poisoning

A springer spaniel who was rescued from neglect nearly died – after eating mouldy waste thoughtlessly dumped on an allotment.

Lovable Chloe became critically ill following a walk with Alison Harmison, who was fostering her after her rescue.

Alison rushed the poorly pooch to Vets Now in Middlesbrough where she received urgent treatment to reduce her temperature.

But the drama didn’t end there.

An image of the waste dumped on the allotment for Vets Now article on dog ate mouldy food
Some of the discarded waste Chloe, Milo and Teal encountered on their walk

Two of Alison’s other dogs, Milo and Teal, fell ill later in the day after encountering the same waste and also needed emergency veterinary help.

Alison said: “It was bit of a dramatic day to say the least. In the space of about an hour, three of my dogs had to be taken into Vets Now in three separate journeys.

“Milo and Teal were both bad – but Chloe was in the worst condition. She was really, really ill and of course I was panicking.”

Chloe began shaking uncontrollably when she and Alison arrived home from their walk in the village of Greatham, near Hartlepool, Teesside. Then Chloe lost control of her muscles.

Quick-thinking Alison, 52, put Chloe in the car and drove to the Vets Now pet emergency clinic in Middlesbrough to get help.

On arrival, Chloe’s temperature was a life-threatening 41.6C (nearly 107F) and our vets and vet nurses worked to bring her temperature down to below 40C.

Chloe was also hooked up to a syringe driver to deliver medication.

Meanwhile, there was more drama because two of Alison’s other seven dogs had become unwell too.

First, her chocolate springador Teal began trembling after apparently eating some of the same waste.

Teal, who is six years old, was rushed to Vets Now by Alison’s son Michael’s girlfriend Louise.

And, as if that wasn’t enough, they in turn were followed out of the door shortly afterwards by nine-year-old Milo, a cocker spaniel, when he too became unwell.

An image of Chloe, the dog rushed to Vets Now after eating mouldy food for Vets Now article on dog ate mouldy food
Chloe was left fighting for her life after eating mouldy waste

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Milo had possibly eaten some of Chloe’s sick. So he had to be brought in by Alison’s husband Derek, 53.

Fortunately, all three dogs recovered following treatment and were able to go home that afternoon.

Alison added: “We were fostering Chloe to give her a safe home and here she was with poisoning from mouldy rubbish. I felt terrible about it.

“Chloe had to be rescued from her old home because she’d been abandoned.

“She’s such a lovely dog but she was in a bad way when she was rescued – so the thought of anything else happening to her was just too much to bear.”

Happily, Chloe, who is around two years old, has now found a permanent home through the dog charity Spaniel Aid UK, which Alison volunteers for and is heavily involved with.

She is flourishing with her new owners, while Teal and Milo are back to their normal cheerful and bouncy selves.

An image of Teal, another dog who fell ill after eating rubbish
Two of Alison's other dogs, including Teal, fell ill later in the day after encountering the same waste

Alison said: “We’ve had a lucky escape here but it’s really important that if your dog starts shaking, or drooling or seems to be losing control of their muscles that you seek help straight away.

“What had happened was someone had dumped a load of food waste like takeaway boxes and then set fire to some of it.

“But the remains of it all were still really poisonous.”

The allotments border a playing field in Alison’s village. Pictures of the waste taken by Alison show a depressing array of plastic cartons, food cans and wrappers dumped there.

Alison said: “It just goes to show how thoughtless some people can be and how much of a risk that can be to dogs who are just out for their regular walk.”

One of the vet nurses who treated the three dogs was Zoe Campbell. She said: “It was an interesting shift to say the least. Chloe arrived first, followed by Teal and then Milo.

“This kind of poisoning can be fatal for dogs – so time really is of the essence, You’ve got to seek veterinary help quickly, as Alison did.

“These cases demonstrate how important it is people dispose of leftovers carefully and keep food waste bins well out of reach.”

an image of a dog who was admitted to Vets Now after eating mouldy waste for Vets Now article on dog ate mouldy food
Alison's dog Milo was also admitted to Vets Now after eating food waste

The Vets Now clinic in Middlesbrough — where the three dogs received treatment — was recently rated as “outstanding” in the delivery of emergency and critical care by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

It’s one of 58 Vets Now clinics and pet emergency hospitals across the UK that are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends and bank holidays, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur.

All of Vets Now’s premises have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times.