Puppy Posioned After Eating a Handwarmer
Courtesy Pet Poison Helpline
Experts are warning pet owners about the dangers that some chemical hand warmers pose to animals after a puppy in Alaska fell ill last year from consuming one of the products.
In November 2020, Jaime Smith’s two children and their neighborhood friends ventured outside to play in the backyard with Buoy the puppy, whom the family had recently brought home, according to the Pet Poison Hotline. The kids went back inside briefly to have their mother help them open their hand warmer packages.
Soon after the group finished playing together, Smith said, Buoy started to vomit. “It looked like black tar, but we could see remnants of the hand warmer package paper,” she said in a statement obtained by PEOPLE.
RELATED: Hero Dog Suffers Serious Injuries Scaring Mountain Lion Out of Family’s California Backyard
“Our kids showed us their hand warmers in the trash can,” she added, “so we suspected one of the neighbors had left theirs.”
Smith’s fears were confirmed when the parent of a neighborhood child said their daughter had left two used hand warmers near the Smith home and when Smith found remnants of the product around her yard.
“Apparently, Buoy had shredded them and ingested some of the contents,” the owner said in her statement. “As soon as we realized what had happened, we called Pet Poison Helpline.”
RELATED: Does Your Dog Tilt Their Head When You Talk? They Might Be Thinking About Their Favorite Things
Buoy’s family took him to PET Emergency Treatment in Anchorage, where tests revealed “a large amount of iron product” remained in his GI tract, including in the stomach and both intestines.
After spending the night in the hospital and being treated for a week, Buoy ultimately recovered.
“It was really touch-and-go for a while,” said Smith, “Given that they had no history with the dog because he was a puppy, they did an amazing job.”
Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE‘s free daily newsletter to stay up-to-date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.
Dr. Ahna Brutlag, a board-certified veterinary toxicologist at Pet Poison …….