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A WARNING has been issued to pet owners after the “razor-sharp” bristles on a barbecue cleaning brush nearly killed a dog.
Leon Tomasevic, from Nottingham, East Midlands, is calling for a ban on the cheap brushes after his labradoodle, Riley, became seriously ill from ingesting the tiny wire strands.
Riley was just a puppy when he found the barbecue brush lying on the ground in the garden and started chewing at the ends.
Attracted to the brush because of its meaty scent, Leon says he had “absolutely no idea” of the danger Riley was in.
Leon told the Mirror: “The tiny bristles just came off.
“He was sick within minutes and our vets were incredibly worried. There were literally hundreds of bristles, and it would have been impossible to operate and get them all out.”
The only option to help Riley was overload his stomach with food to help the bristles pass naturally.
Leon fed Riley meals of pasta, mashed potato and bread to help the harsh spikes along without causing any serious damage.
After the few days, Riley was back to his playful self – but on another occasion it was a lot more serious.
Riley was chewing at another barbecue brush which got into the garden and the young dog chewed a the cleaning utensil’s head long enough to swallow the spikes.
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Leon said: “I saw he’d gone quiet, which is generally a sign of mischief, and my heart sank when I saw what he was doing.
“I couldn’t believe it had happened again.”
The family called a vet and got Riley seen as soon as possible.
He said: “He was sick in the car and then he had to be sedated for the X-rays, which showed he was absolutely full to the brim of little wire bristles in his stomach and intestines.
“These brushes should be banned, they are absolutely deadly.
“If you scrub a grill with a cheap one, you’ll see these bristles just fly off and they are real killers.”
Emergency animal care provider, Vet Now, said barbecue-related injuries have almost doubled since 2019.
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Emergency vet Aoife Reid, from Vet Now’s Edge programmes, said: “We see a number of unusual injuries at this time of year as barbecues and parties in particular can be hazardous for pets.
“As well as swallowing kebab skewers, eating cooked bones, developing food poisoning, or sustaining burn injuries from stealing piping hot food from the barbecue, pets can also sustain traumatic injuries such as getting their tails stuck in patio doors and breaking their legs.”