Owner praises vets for saving elderly retriever Pluto

An elderly dog has swapped meaty treats for radishes and carrots after he became ill chewing the remains of burgers from a barbecue.

Golden retriever Pluto got his paws on an aluminium cooking tray used to cook meat – then ate his way through it, thinking it was something tasty.

This caused Pluto to be sick and owner Robin Dixon rushed him to Vets Now’s pet emergency clinic in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

Thankfully, 14-year-old Pluto has since made a full recovery, despite his advancing years.

It seems Pluto has also learned the error of his ways as he appears to have ditched meaty treats for carrots and radishes which he now digs up from Robin’s garden.

Internet engineer Robin, 61, said: “It was looking bad for Pluto. But he’s got a new lease of life – and, bizarrely, he’s all about vegetables now.

“We’ve got carrots and radishes growing in our garden and Pluto’s out there all the time digging them up.

“We’re giving him fish product dog food as well to keep him healthy and, all things considered, he is flourishing.”

The drama began when Robin spotted mangled bits of the aluminium tray scattered around the family garden in Maidenhead, Berkshire.

Guessing what had happened, Robin tried putting all the pieces together to see how much of the foil Pluto had eaten.

He soon worked out that a lot of the foil was missing – and feared it may be in Pluto’s tummy.

Robin said: “Firstly, he was off his food and not eating anything. Then he began vomiting. We rang Vets Now and they advised us to bring him in straight away – and I’m very glad we did.

“My thirteen-year-old son has grown up with Pluto – he’s a totally integral part of our family. All of us would have been distraught to lose him.”

Our vet surgeon got to work on stabilising Pluto and trying to get to the bottom of his problem.

After discussing the available options with his owners, she prescribed medication for gastrointestinal issues.

Image of a Pluto the dog for Vets Now article on vegetarian diet dog
Pluto became ill after eating burgers and a foil tray

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The vet was happy to allow Pluto home that night with instructions to his owners to come back urgently if his condition deteriorated. Thankfully, Pluto recovered fully in the following few days.

At Vets Now, we see a rise in injuries and poisonings during the summer, particularly when the weather is warm and sunny.

Some of these cases are associated with barbecues so our vets have drawn up a list of tips to keep your dogs safe during barbecue season.

Laura Playforth, veterinary standards director, said: “As Pluto’s case shows, we see a number of unusual barbecue-related injuries and poisonings at this time of year.

“These are often caused by dogs eating cooked bones, developing food poisoning, swallowing things like kebab skewers, or sustaining burn injuries from piping hot food.

“Owners should also be aware that while carrots and radishes are great for dogs in moderation, any fertiliser, plant food or compost used to encourage their growth is likely to be poisonous, so wash any veg thoroughly and avoid using them if possible.”

The pet emergency clinic in High Wycombe is one of a nationwide network of Vets Now clinics and hospitals open through the night, seven days a week, and day and night at weekends and bank holidays.

All of Vets Now’s out-of-hours clinics and 24/7 hospitals have a vet and a veterinary nurse on site at all times.