Baxter's owner fears animals are suffering needlessly because of irresponsibility of others

Litter louts nearly killed a dog after he ate a full packet of chocolate raisins thoughtlessly dumped in a park.

Golden retriever Baxter wolfed down not just the treats but even the wrapper.

The sweets were among a mountain of rubbish left by selfish revellers and only swift action by the vets and vet nurses at our Vets Now pet emergency hospital in Glasgow saved the dog’s life.

Now owner Carrie Allan, from Cambuslang, is urging park users to clear up their litter and for other dog lovers to be alert to the dangers of both chocolate and raisins.

Image of Baxter the dog in Vets Now Glasgow hospital
Baxter spent his birthday in our pet emergency hospital in Glasgow
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Parks across the country have been blighted by mountains of rubbish as large groups flocked to them while coronavirus restrictions were in place – with some UK local authorities reporting up to seven times the normal amount of rubbish.

Even before lockdown rubbish was a serious problem for pets, with figures from the RSPCA revealing its emergency hotline receives a call every two hours to report an animal being harmed by rubbish.

Retail worker Carrie had taken Baxter, eight, and her other retriever, seven-year-old Oscar, to her local park for an evening walk when disaster struck.

“It looked like there had been a very messy picnic with lots to drink and they’d just left it at their backsides,” said Carrie, 41.

“It’s definitely been worse because of lockdown and there has been much more rubbish than you’d normally see at this time of year. There aren’t a lot of bins there, but I still can’t understand why people just get up and walk away.”

Baxter got to the debris first and when Carrie got there she spotted one of the chocolate raisins.

Chocolate can be very harmful for dogs, but even tiny quantities of raisins can be potentially fatal.

Fortunately, Carrie was aware of the perils posed by raisins and rushed both dogs straight to Vets Now.

The state-of-the-art hospital, in North Street, is one of nationwide chain of clinics and hospitals open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for pet emergencies.

Both were given urgent injections to make then sick and while Oscar had only a minute amount of the chocolate raisins, Baxter brought up the whole packet, including the wrapper.

Image of litter in park for Vets Now article on issue of rubbish and dogs
Parks across the country have been blighted by mountains of rubbish

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Emergency vet Andrew Murray said: “It was clear Baxter had eaten a fairly significant number of raisins and a large amount of chocolate.

“After doing various tests, including bloods, which were all within normal limits, we gave him fluids and monitored him closely. Thankfully, his condition remained stable throughout.”

Baxter was also given activated charcoal to absorb the toxins from the sweets he’d eaten.

His stay in hospital coincided with his eighth birthday and staff pulled out all the stops to make sure it was enjoyable as possible, laying on a mini celebration.

Andrew explained: “Baxter’s owners told us he was celebrating his birthday so all the staff made a real fuss of him while he was with us.

“He’s a really affectionate soul and it’s great to hear he’s back to full strength.”

And Carrie added: “The staff obviously remembered what I’d said about his birthday coming up and had organised it all. I got an email saying, ‘Hi mum, I’m doing okay’ and a picture of him.

“It was such a lovely personal touch and the bit of humour helped after everything we’d gone through. In fact, everyone from the vets to the nurses to the reception staff were so nice and so caring.”

Thankfully Baxter is none the worse for his ordeal and Carrie is hoping to get the warning message about the raisin and chocolate dangers out to others.

“If I hadn’t have seen that one raisin, I’d have gone home none the wiser and it could have killed my dog,” said Carrie.

Worried pet owners can now speak to a highly-qualified emergency vet from the comfort of their home using our video consultation service.

If a pet needs to be seen at a clinic or hospital for treatment, they are refunded the £24 consultation fee. Click here for more information.