Vet's warning to dog owners

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A puppy needed life-saving treatment after indulging in too much chocolate!

Leo the beagle ended up in intensive care at Wigan's Anrich Veterinary Hospital after wolfing down a whole box of handmade chocolates, which had been wrapped and left under the Christmas tree.

And now the vet whose prompt work saved Leo's life, Dr Shams Mir, is warning owners to keep their pets away from sweet treats this holiday or risk losing them – as chocolates are potentially fatal for dogs.

As soon as Leo's owner Jill Liptrot realised what the dog had done, she rushed him to the surgery, fearing the worst.

He underwent emergency treatment to save him by removing the undigested sweets from his stomach, along with supportive therapy to minimise the potentially toxic effects already in his bloodstream.

Now Leo is out of the danger zone and is gradually returning to his normal waggy-tailed self.

Dr Mir said Mrs Liptrot, knew Leo was in the doghouse as soon as she arrived at her home in Standish.

He was wearing a guilty frown – and licking his lips.

Then when she saw the chocolate box ripped open in the back garden – he had sneaked out through the cat flap to enjoy the treat – the truth was out!

Dr Mir said: "Incidence of chocolate poisoning in dogs is on the rise in this country and several fatal cases have been reported.

"With the timely detection of the poisoning and treatment, Leo was lucky to have only had a little bit of a rough ride.

"When I walked into the surgery I found a perplexed and worried owner with her naughty dog.

"Leo appeared to be on a 'high' as the excitement induced by the chocolates was setting in.

"Depending upon the dose taken, symptoms can be as mild as restlessness and vomiting to as bad as kidney damage, convulsions or circulatory failure leading to death.

"It's clear that for dog owners, Christmas brings some additional responsibilities!"

Mrs Liptrot said: "I'm learning that beagles like Leo just live to eat and I'm going to have to have eyes in the back of my head in future to keep him out of trouble.

"I had no idea that chocolate could be so toxic to dogs, so he has had a lucky escape."