Dog Nearly Died Eating Gingerbread Christmas Tree Decorations

It was a close call over the Christmas holiday for one seven-year-old Labrador who ate 34 gingerbread Christmas tree ornaments and had to undergo a 3-hour life-saving surgery as a result.

The Labrador named Marley, stole the ornaments from his owner’s Bournemouth kitchen, and ingested them – ribbons and all.

Rachel Bulmer, Marley’s owner, rushed him to the vet’s after it appeared that he was going into shock.

Vets from the PDSA animal charity managed to remove the ribbons plus various bones from his stomach, during the operation.

37-year-old Rachel was surprised as she believed she had left the decorations, which were in gift bags, “safely out of reach”.

She said, “Over the years Marley’s been no stranger to eating things he shouldn’t and usually they pass through. But this time he started acting strangely and looked like he was going into shock. He was violently sick and brought up some of the ribbons.”


Marley underwent two operations to remove the ribbons since they were causing a potentially fatal block.

PDSA senior vet Aoife Clancy said, “It was a lengthy, high-risk surgery. Marley’s chances of surviving the night were looking poor. Thankfully he pulled through but needed critical round-the-clock care for four days before he could go home.”

The PDSA treatment cost £2,000, but thankfully it was paid for by public donations.


Another dog owner, Gill Edwards, from Ealing, in west London said her mini dachshund, Otto, ate her pants – although they thankfully passed through the small dog’s system without causing any ill side effects.

She said, “Impressive, as there was a fair amount of material involved and he’s only little. Yesterday it was the bobble off a Santa hat. Like some disgusting vending machine.”

Dr. Clancy explained. “It’s important that owners make sure decorations and toxic Christmas foods are safe from curious paws.”

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Anastasia is an American ex-pat living in Ireland. When she's not writing she can be found wandering the Irish countryside in search of inspiration. You can follow her writing adventures on Twitter @AnastasiaArell5 or Instagram @writeranastasia26
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