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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Annette Belcher & Angela Ferguson

The Range launches probe as dog 'lucky to be alive' after eating pet treat

Popular bargain store The Range is investigating after an owners claims her dog became seriously ill from eating one of its bones. The distraught owner has told how her pet had to endure surgery to save its life after swallowing big pieces of the £4 treat.

Kayleigh Kennedy picked up the Jurassic Bone from the pet product section of The Range that she and her fiance James thought would be a nice treat for their rescue dogs Bruno and Sadie. But the next day, the couple found Bruno, a German Shepherd and Akita cross, had been vomiting and the vet told them to bring the four-year-old dog in immediately.

Bruno had an operation lasting three hours to remove big chunks of bone from his stomach and intestines and Kayleigh, who got the product from her local store in The Range in Chester said he is lucky to be alive and wants to make other pet owners aware. CheshireLive reports.

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Kayleigh told CheshireLive: "Bruno is very very lucky to be alive. It caused a massive blockage and if we'd left it it would have gone septic and he would have died. It was heartbreaking, the thought that we were going to lose our boy. We now want to warn other dog owners about this.

"You hear horror stories about things happening to pets but you never think it will happen to you. It was absolutely horrific and I would not want anyone to have to go through what we've been through. We bought the bone from The Range on Sealand Road in Chester on Saturday and we came home and gave it to them. They were chewing it in the living room and we were watching them.

"As with all bones, you need to keep an eye on them for splintering, however for Bruno, this bone fell apart in to large chunks, as he's a big dog, he swallowed them which then blocked his stomach and intestines. This caused him to vomit and violently heave.

"There's naturally a risk of bones splintering but but this was falling apart in really big chunks. I thought that was weird and so I took them away. We thought we were buying something nice for them. We even took a video of them getting this huge bone as we thought it was so cute and it ended up being the worst thing we ever did.

"The telltale sign something was wrong was when he went off his food. He's like a garbage bin. He'll eat anything. On Sunday morning, Bruno's little area under the stairs where he sleeps was absolutely covered in vomit and faeces.

"We thought that maybe he'd eaten grass but he kept retching and vomiting so we rang the vet and they gave us an appointment for two hours later. I thought we need to be seen now so the vet said to come straight over. I think the worst part was when we were asked if anything happened to Bruno on the operating table then would we want him to be resuscitated and we said absolutely, 100 per cent.

"We are just so glad he is alive."

The veterinary team at the Animal Trust in Ellesmere Port carried out the surgery on Bruno and as this was a weekend and out of hours the couple have ended up with a bill of over £1500. Kayleigh added: "Bruno has got a long road ahead of him. He's got a big bald patch on his tummy. This is his fifth home and we are his forever home. He is like our golden child. He was so good it convinced us to get a second dog, Sadie.

"I feel horrendously guilty because it was us that gave him the bone and put him in the position that we did. It's been a horrible few days. He's like our first born and neither of us has really slept on Sunday. We were just waiting and we didn't know if we were going to get him back.

"The house just felt so empty. Even Sadie was subdued. Now he's back he looks so sad, bless him. The vet's bill has all gone on the credit card and now we're having a panic as to how we can pay it off."

Kayleigh said she had been trying to contact The Range and had also spoken to the manufacturers of the bone, a business called T Forrest based in Lancashire.

A spokesperson for The Range said: "We take safety concerns of this nature very seriously and will be looking into this product as a matter of urgency. We will be contacting the supplier and gathering more information so that we can understand if this is an isolated incident with this product or a more general issue.

"Product safety is a top concern for us and we will work quickly towards a resolution."

A spokesperson for the manufacturer of the bone, Lancashire-based T Forrest and Sons Ltd told CheshireLive: "Our company is a family business, started by our grandparents in 1937, due to the love of our dogs. We care deeply about animals and our dogs are sitting here with us today in the office.

"Kayleigh obviously feels distraught about what has happened, and I would feel the same."

They added that each year they sell around 137,000 of what they call Roast Whole Bones and which are labelled Jurassic Bones when sold by The Range and this particular batch bought by Kayleigh had passed through quality control.

They also stated that the product included a disclaimer on the label warning owners to "supervise when feeding as this product may splinter"

Referring to images of the pieces of bone removed by vets, they added: "As you can see from the objects that were removed, Bruno has not just shattered the bone into pieces, but he has swallowed both knuckle ends whole.

"There is an image of the Jurassic bone as per sale in The Range, there is a knuckle on both ends and what Bruno has done is swallowed both ends whole and they will be the size of a tennis ball. Sadie had eaten the same product, most probably like most dogs do, by gnawing at it."

The spokesperson added: "We are insured with NFU and they are dealing with this as a matter of urgency and their legal team will be contacting Kayleigh."

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