The owner of a Staffordshire Terrier who died after licking antifreeze outside wants other pet owners to be extra vigilant.
Elizabeth Bliss from Bretton had to say goodbye to her beloved dog Ozzy last Saturday after he was put to sleep.
The 10-year-old had licked antifreeze at the path behind his house on Monday afternoon last week.
Elizabeth, who thought her pet was licking from a puddle, only realised days later what had happened when she discovered the antifreeze, while her husband also spotted human medication littering the pavement in the same area.
Unfortunately, by this time Ozzy had deteriorated so much he could not walk, was struggling to see properly and was foaming at the mouth.
By Saturday morning a second trip to the vets confirmed the worst - that Ozzy’s kidneys had failed and there was nothing that could be done.
A devastated Elizabeth said: “We have had him since he was eight weeks old. Him and Jed, his older brother, they are like our babies. We would do anything for our dogs. Everybody loves them around here. They are Staffies but as gentle as anything.
“There’s something missing in the house. People say it’s only a dog, but he’s part of the family.
“My message to people is to be more vigilant. Dogs do pick up things, and if I had been a little bit more vigilant things may not have turned out as they had.”
The RSPCA is asking everyone to check where they keep their pesticides and chemicals and to make sure they are secure and out of the way, and for pet owners to take their animals immediately to the vets if they are showing symptoms of poisoning.
This can include some or all of the following: vomiting, seeming depressed or sleepy, appearing drunk or uncoordinated, seizures and difficulty breathing.”
RSPCA Inspector Justin Stubbs is urging people to ensure waste that could be hazardous is disposed of in the most secure, responsible way possible. He said: “Medicines that are no longer needed or are out of date should be taken to a local pharmacy to be disposed of.
“Animals and even children may well pick them up and digest them off the floor and suffer all sorts of effects.
“The effects of antifreeze on animals is well known and widely documented and I can’t imagine anyone could be in any doubt of the risks they are taking in leaving this out in the open.
“Although I don’t believe this has been a malicious act on anyone’s part, it should be used as a reminder that our waste should always be disposed of safely and properly, and that sometimes putting it into general waste bins can lead to accidents if the bins are blown or pushed over.”