Max's case demonstrates some dogs will eat almost anything

A couple had to rush their Labrador to the vets – after he ate his entire lead.

Hungry hound Max scoffed the lead as he lay in the back of the car.

And, failing to find any trace and fearing the worst, Brian and Christine Hillman had to make a frantic dash to Vets Now in Newport for emergency treatment.

Swift action by the skilled team recovered the lead – in neatly chewed 5cm strips.

The naughty seven-year-old is one of the family’s two Labradors.

“We lost our lovely pet Sadie in 2013 and I vowed I’d never get another dog,” said Christine, 54, who lives in Newport.

“But I couldn’t resist Max when we saw him at nine months old and he helped to fill the gap. So much so, we soon got another lab, Saffron who is six.

“They’re both lovely but we know to keep an eye on Max as he is prone to getting hold of things and having a good chew. He is always at the socks and knickers from the washing, although he just bites holes in them, he’s never actually ate any.

“So, we never for a moment thought he’d do anything as crazy as eat his lead.”

Image of the lead eaten by Max the golden Labrador for Vets Now article on dog ate lead
After being given an injection to induce vomiting, Max brought up his perfectly-chewed lead

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Max has had some health issues with osteoarthritis and Brian was taking him to a hydrotherapy session when the pooch developed a taste for his fabric lead.

“I’m usually there too and keep him company in the back of the car, but I was working from home, so it was just Brian,” said insurance worker Christine.

“It’s only about a 15-minute journey but when Brian went to get him out, all that was left was the metal end of the lead.

“He checked the car and the car park just in case but there was no trace so it was obvious he’d started chewing on it and then just ate the whole thing.”

Fearing that the lead may tangle lethally inside Max, or cause a dangerous obstruction, they called their own vets and were advised to get him to Vets Now as soon as possible.

Vets Now in Newport is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week for pet emergencies.

Image of Max the golden Labrador for Vets Now article on dog ate lead
Max with his lead

Although the team in the clinic is well used to pets eating all sorts of things, this is the first case they’ve treated of a dog eating his entire lead.

Laura Playforth, Vets Now’s professional standards director, said: “This was an unusual case to say the least.

“Some foreign objects are small enough to pass through a dog’s system without causing any problems but others can get stuck causing dogs to become seriously ill quite quickly.

“These intestinal obstructions often require surgery which poses its own risks. However, in Max’s case, because we knew he’d only recently swallowed the lead we were confident inducing vomiting would bring it back up.

“I’m pleased to hear Max is now back to his old self. His case just goes to show some dogs, particularly labs, will eat almost anything.”

Image of golden Labradors Max and Saffron for Vets Now article on dog ate lead
Max and Saffron

Having been made aware that surgery may have to be considered if Max didn’t bring the lead up when he was sick, Christine was just relieved the injection did the trick.

“The Vets Now team were brilliant, so caring and nice,” said Christine.

“Max was a bit queasy when we got him home and it took three of us to get him out of the car, but, thankfully he was soon back to his old self.

“It’s still hard to believe what he did. We take no chances now and have both dogs off their leads when they get in the car.”

The Vets Now clinic in Newport – where Max received treatment – is one of a nationwide network of Vets Now clinics and pet emergency hospitals that are open seven-days-a-week 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.

Vets Now has also recently launched an online video consultation service to make professional veterinary advice more easily available. While potentially life-threatening conditions like Max’s would not be suitable for the service, their experienced vets are available to discuss any worries or concerns pet owners might have. If a pet needs to be treated at Vets Now, pet owners are refunded the online consultation fee.