Milo faced a lethal litter drama

Three- year-old pooch Milo went through life-saving surgery to retrieve a face mask stuck in his stomach.

Milo was on a walk with his owners, the Hammerton family, when they spotted him eating a facemask that was tangled around a bone.

They were able to get Milo to drop the bone, but were unable to prevent him from swallowing the mask, despite attempts to retrieve it. In a panic, daughter Becky Hammerton (26) phoned Bournemouth PDSA Pet Hospital who asked her to bring him in straight away.

There the beloved family pet was examined and x-rayed by the charity’s veterinary team.  Aoife Clancy, Senior Vet at PDSA, said: “The x-ray showed that the nose wire attached to the mask was in Milo’s stomach. We didn’t want to induce vomiting as there was a risk this wire could have pierced his stomach or oesophagus. But as the mask didn’t seem to be passing naturally he needed surgery to remove it before it could cause any potentially fatal complications.

Thankfully the life-saving operation to remove the potentially lethal litter was successful, and Milo was discharged the next day to recover fully at home.”

Image of Milo next to the mask that he had swallowed

Aoife continued: “Sadly this isn’t the first time our vets have seen pets who have eaten discarded PPE. These items can be very harmful to pets and wildlife if eaten, as they not only run the risk of developing life-threatening blockages, but damage to their stomach or intestines, could result in sepsis and death. 

“We’re urging everyone to dispose of their PPE responsibly, but there are also things that owners can do to help reduce any risk of pets eating things they shouldn’t.

Training your dog with a simple command such as ‘leave’ or ‘drop’ is the best way to ensure you can prevent any mishaps while out on walks.”

Becky, who has set up a JustGiving fundraiser for PDSA in recognition of the fantastic care Milo received said: “Milo has made a good recovery, he was treated very quickly and the vets and vet nurses at Bournemouth PDSA were fantastic, helpful and incredibly caring.

I’ve read numerous stories of dogs eating masks since Milo’s incident, but I never thought it would happen to Milo as he’s normally very good at dropping things on command. However, the scent of the bone perhaps made him react differently this time.

It was awful but PDSA’s vet team were amazing and without them it could have been a very different story, and that’s why I’m fundraising for PDSA. We’re so grateful for their help saving Milo’s life and other sick and injured pets.”

PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity. Through our 48 Pet Hospitals and Pet Care scheme, we save the lives of poorly pets who would otherwise be left untreated.

Every year, we helped over 388,000 pets. Without us, emergency cases like Milo's would be left untreated and many pets could lose their lives or be separated from families who love them.

We wouldn’t be here for dogs like Milo without your support. Please consider donating today.

Give pets like Milo a fighting chance

Pets who have been there for us during the pandemic deserve somewhere to turn when they need life-saving treatment.

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Every £1 donated will help us make sure sick and injured pets get the treatment they desperately need.

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