Emergency vet comes to the rescue of Dachshund who swallowed tiny wooden skewer

Naughty Dachshund Buddy got more than he bargained for when he scoffed a tray of cupcakes and a cocktail stick got stuck in his throat.

The 10 mermaid-themed cakes had been made by Ellie Hothersall’s 11-year-old daughter, Elspeth, using a decorating kit she got for Christmas.

But they were too much for Buddy to resist and he clambered up on to the kitchen table via a nearby chair to eat the blue icing and fancy mermaid decorations on top of the cakes.

Image of Buddy the sausage dog for Vets Now article on a dog that swallowed a toothpick
Buddy the Dachshund needed emergency treatment at Vets Now after swallowing a cocktail stick

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The sugary feast made the three-year-old Dachshund ill and he later threw up blue-coloured vomit.

Matters became more serious though when Ellie realised that one of the cocktail sticks used in the decorations had gone missing.

“We knew something bad had happened, but couldn’t see anything so we called our vets,” Ellie recalled.

It was 9.30pm so they took Buddy to Vets Now in Dundee which provides emergency care for pets in the area. At the clinic, the vet discovered the cocktail stick had stuck in his tongue and soft palate of his throat.

Ellie, who now works in public health after previously being an A&E doctor, said: “Thankfully the vets were able to get it out quickly once they’d found where it was. If the stick had been further down it would have been a lot more complicated.

“We got Buddy back the next day after he’d been given painkillers and kept under observation, in case there were any complications.

“Elspeth had been enraged at the theft at first because she’d spent a lot of time planning it out and decorating the cakes. I only helped a bit with making the buttercream but never got to see the finished cakes thanks to Buddy.

“They were on the kitchen table, but Buddy recently worked out that he could get up there using a chair. He also likes to steal socks and tea towels, chew them up and eat them, ” she added.

“Thankfully the vets were able to get it out quickly once they'd found where it was. If the stick had been further down it would have been a lot more complicated."

Ellie, Buddy's owner

Stephan Hunt, a veterinary surgeon at Vets Now in Dundee, said the cocktail stick had become stuck at the back of Buddy’s throat, just above the larynx, embedding itself about 2cm into his tongue.

He added: “I had to cut the cocktail stick in half to remove it. But thankfully, Buddy did not suffer any serious oesophageal or gastric injuries, so there was no lasting damage.

“He recovered well in the clinic that night, despite eating all that icing, and I’m glad to hear he’s now back to full strength. Hopefully, his case will serve as a reminder to other dog owners to keep human foods well out of reach of their pets.”

The Vets Now clinic in Dundee – where Buddy received treatment – is one of a nationwide network of out-of-hours clinics and pet emergency hospitals 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 out-of-hours clinics and 24/7 hospitals have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times.