An Edinburgh dog owner whose mischievous pooch got hold of her asthma inhaler has told how the beloved pet was “lucky to be alive” after the device ‘exploded’ in its mouth.

Crossbreed Leia caused part of the breathing aid to ‘shoot across the room’ after chewing through the plastic casing when owner Marion Reith briefly turned her back.

The three-year-old was rushed for emergency treatment following the incident amid fears the medication could cause “total organ failure”.

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Marion immediately realised the risk the substance posed to Leia thanks to her training as a pharmacist.

‘Playful’ Leia would later make a full recovery, however the capital resident is now cautioning other dog owners to be on high alert when leaving their inhalers around pets.

She said: “Leia can be quite playful and she has a thing for chewing anything plastic she can get hold of.

“Because of that, I’m really careful to keep my inhaler well away from Leia. It was in my handbag, and I’d been looking for something and must have left it on the floor.

“I’d just stepped into the kitchen when I heard this bang, and I knew right away what must have happened.

“It had exploded so fiercely we had to hunt for the cylinder which had shot right across the room.”

Marion recalled how she sprung into action after previously training on responses to the chemicals being ingested by pets.

She contacted emergency medics via Vets Now before heading to the firm’s clinic with the inhaler.

But she remembered the moment of ‘panic’ when it became clear Leia had suffered adverse effects from the incident.

“Leia was just standing there looking dazed. I work in a pharmacy and had done some training last year and had learned that the inhalers were toxic to pets,” she said.

“I knew it could shut down organs and prove fatal, so I needed help quickly.

“Her heart rate was racing, and it was so worrying”

Staff at the clinic quickly assessed that Leia was suffering from “cardiotoxicity” and administered treatment to slow her rapid heart rate immediately.

Fiona Selby, emergency vet surgeon at Vets Now Edinburgh, said: “We put her on fluids and medication and, happily, over the next few hours the heart rate slowed, her potassium levels stabilised and Leia started to recover.

“Inhalers can be highly dangerous and getting Leia here really quickly was vital.”

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Poorly Leia was kept in for observation overnight, but was returned home the next day to Marion’s relief.

She has since taken extra care when leaving her inhaler around the home and has encouraged others to do the same.

“It was brilliant to get her back and we can’t thank Vets Now enough,” said Marion.

“We knew she was in safe hands and the staff were so caring.

“She was a bit off-colour for a couple of days, but she was back to her old self after that. It just shows that it only takes a moment, so do keep inhalers well away from pets and don’t delay if something happens.”



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