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German Shepherd Eats 31 Inches of Christmas Tinsel

german shepherd tinsel xray
Photo Credit: Vets Now

Dogs eat the darndest things. Some dogs will eat anything they can find, like rocks, shoes, socks, and even underwear.

Also on the list of consumable doggy no-nos is holiday decorations.

An 8-year-old German Shepherd in Manchester, England, was a naughty boy when he consumed 31 inches of tinsel. He later needed emergency surgery to eliminate the decorations from his stomach.

Olivia Mullen said her German Shepherd, Benji, has never eaten anything he wasn’t supposed to.

“This is the first time he’s ever done anything like this. He doesn’t go after shoes or toys, so it was a total surprise,” Mullen said in a Vets Now blog post.

The incident occurred even before her family’s Christmas tree was up.

“He had actually gone rooting through a box. I was at work, and my mom called me to say he had eaten some tinsel.”

X-rays showed roughly 3-feet of the tinsel inside of Benji, who immediately underwent emergency surgery at the hospital.

The extraction was a success, and Benji is recovering.

german shepherd benji

Photo Credit: Vets Now

Benji’s tinsel incident could have turned much more serious.

“It was really quite horrific,” Mullen recalled. “I couldn’t believe he had eaten so much tinsel. You could clearly see it was all tangled up, and I knew right away he’d need emergency surgery.”

David Owen, the lead emergency veterinarian who treated Benji, warned pet owners that shiny tinsel can attract both dogs and cats alike. “But anything stringy, it’s extremely dangerous if swallowed,” he noted.

“In veterinary medicine, we call this a linear foreign body. If the tinsel anchors itself in the stomach, it can’t then pass through the intestines and can slowly cut through the tissue like cheese wire,” Owen said. “This can cause severe damage to the pet’s intestinal tract.”

Mullen is an animal care assistant at Vets Now in Manchester, but despite treating sick animals for a living, she admitted she was an “absolute mess” when it came to Benji’s health.

german shepherd benji with owner

Photo Credit: Vets Now

“I was so upset and worried, but I knew he was in the best possible hands,” Mullen added.

Dogs of any age can be naughty, but puppy parents need to be on high alert during the holiday season.

Click HERE for 10 Puppy Proofing Tips for the Christmas Season.



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