Dogs love to chew on just about anything they can get in their mouths, but often their makeshift chew toys can be incredibly dangerous to their healthy.
This past week, a UK Jack Russel had been having fun ripping up and chewing on a brochure that came in the mail, however, when his saliva mixed with the glossy coating on the paper, it formed a strong glue that bonded his teeth together and made it impossible to open his mouth.
The 7-year-old dog named Finlay was rushed to the vet and immediately put under anesthesia, before being sent into surgery. For 45 minutes, surgery director Scott Carpenter used butter, warm water, and dental tools to remove the glue from his teeth and gently pry Finlay’s mouth open.
“This emergency was very unusual – nothing like this had ever happened at our practice before,” Carpenter said. “When his owners called us and said he couldn’t open his mouth, we expected it to be an injury from a stick – not something like this. As soon as Finlay came into the surgery we could see the glue in his teeth… It had stuck four of his bottom teeth together, cementing his jaw – there was no budging it at all,” Carpenter said.
“We had to be very careful during the procedure because we didn’t want to damage Finlay’s gums, teeth or jaw. When we levered off the glue with a dental scraper there was a piece of paper the size of a 20 pence piece still wrapped round his teeth which was what had set hard,” Carpenter said. “As soon as that came off, we brought him round and he was absolutely fine and is now completely recovered. But there were risks associated – any procedure where the animal is anesthetized has risks.”
Now the vet is warning other dog owners to be extra careful to keep mail away from dogs. “We want people to be aware so this doesn’t happen again, especially owners who know their dogs like to play with mail. This glue sets hard, so the sooner it can be dealt with the better. Finlay was pretty nonplussed but some dogs would get very distressed. The whole thing was definitely a very frightening experience for Finlay’s owners.”
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[Featured image: Estcourt Vets/Mercury Press]
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