Emergency vets come to Bruce's rescue

A labradoodle had to be rushed for emergency treatment after wolfing down a DOZEN crème eggs.

Greedy Bruce also demolished several bars of dark chocolate in an Easter feeding frenzy that could have cost him his life.

Crème eggs are the best-selling sweet in the UK in the lead up to the religious festival with more than 200 million being sold while, altogether, more than £300 million is spent on chocolate eggs, bars and treats.

Now Bruce’s owner, Alison Rothery, is backing calls from pet emergency experts Vets Now for pet owners to keep all chocolate safely out of reach this Easter – and to seek urgent help if their animals do get hold of any.

Bruce the labradoodle lying on grass for Vets Now article on dog ate creme eggs
Bruce ate 12 creme eggs and several bars of dark chocolate ©Vets Now

Alison, from Fordingbridge in Hampshire, said: “We had the Easter chocolate high up in the larder, right at the back and actually on a shelf above where we thought he couldn’t possibly have reached.

“But I came down to find Bruce’s bed full of Crème Egg wrappers and chocolate bar wrappers. We must have left the door ajar and he’d obviously sniffed his way in, stood up and helped himself.

“He actually didn’t seem out of sorts, just a bit over-excited, probably because of all the sugar. But when I realised just how much chocolate he’d eaten I knew I needed to get help.

“The crème eggs were obviously a concern, but I was more worried about the dark chocolate as I knew that could be worse.

“And although this was first thing, I couldn’t be sure if he’d just eaten them or he’d had them earlier in the night and he’d had them in his system for hours.”

Bruce the labradoodle lying in a car being taken to the vet for Vets Now article on dog ate crème eggs
When Alison realised what had happened she rushed Bruce to our Salisbury clinic ©Vets Now

Alison quickly called her daytime vet and, as it was a weekend, she was directed to the Vets Now Salisbury clinic. It’s one of our nationwide chain of more than 60 hospitals and clinics open seven days a week for out-of-hours pet emergencies.

Chocolate contains a chemical called theobromine which is poisonous to dogs. The amount depends on the type, with dark chocolate the most toxic.

It mainly affects the guts, heart, central nervous system and kidneys and common symptoms are vomiting, diarrhoea, restlessness, hyperactivity and seizures.

The 12-pack box of créme eggs and several bars of dark chocolate that Bruce ate for Vets Now article on dogs ate crème eggs
The stash of twelve créme eggs and bars of dark chocolate that Bruce scoffed ©Vets Now

“While crème eggs are not particularly high in theobromine, dark chocolate is and it was clear Bruce had ingested a toxic amount,” said senior vet surgeon Dave Hollinshead.

“After discussing the situation with his owners, our team in Salisbury gave Bruce an injection and he brought up a lot of chocolate and quite a few wrappers.

“Thankfully, after further checks, we were able to allow him home with a prescription of activated charcoal which helps to absorb any toxins left in the system.

“Easter eggs are obviously a big favourite at this time of year. But while they are a nice treat for adults and children, they are a real hazard for pets so do please take care.”

Bruce the labradoodle standing in a field for Vets Now article on dog ate crème eggs
Bruce had a lucky escape after his feeding frenzy ©Vets Now

Alison was just thrilled to be able to get Bruce back later that day and knows he was lucky.

“I had every faith in the staff at Vets Now and they did a brilliant job,” said Alison. “He was a little sorry for himself for a day or so but was happily back to his old self after that.

“We’re taking absolutely no chances now. Ever since it happened, we’ve been putting any chocolate in the fridge and that’s where the Easter eggs will be going from now on.”

All of Vets Now’s premises always have a vet and vet nurse on site.

We also offer an online video consultation service to make professional veterinary advice more easily available.

While the service is not suitable for life-threatening emergencies, like Bruce’s, our experienced vets are available to discuss any worries or concerns you might have.

If your pet needs an in-person follow-up appointment at any vet practice, Vets Now will refund the online consultation fee, so you never pay twice.