A DOG left fighting for his life, seemingly after eating rancid household waste dumped at Bo’ness foreshore, rejoined his relieved family on Wednesday - but has been left with slight brain damage.
Fun-loving Golden Retriever Charlie spent five days in Glasgow Vet School’s intensive care unit while toxins worked their way out of his body after suffering a violent fit for over four hours.
Worried owners Lesley and Andy Dickson of Panbrae Road had initially rushed him to the vet after Charlie (3) started trembling, collapsing, foaming at the mouth and panting. His temperature had also shot up.
Sons Jack (15) and Sam (12) were at home too when Charlie took his “scary” turn shortly after the outing.
This week dog walkers were urged to be extra vigilant by Lesley (42). The domestic rubbish Charlie sniffed out had been hidden by bushes near the back of the railway museum.
She said: “We go down to the foreshore very regularly and last Wednesday afternoon he bounced off into the bushes as they do. I called him out and he didn’t come.
“About an hour after getting back home from the walk, his back leg started trembling. Within 45 minutes he was in a full-blown fit and we had to rush him to the vet, who worked on him all through the night.
“He was then taken to the neurology department at the vet school in Glasgow. Until Saturday they thought it was touch and go.”
Epilepsy was ruled out. Lesley’s friend who had been on the walk returned the next day to see what the dog had found in the bushes. “She said it was awful, bags everywhere, ripped open and the food was rancid.”
Neurologist Allison Haley said of Charlie’s case: “It’s not very common, thankfully, but any sort of mouldy bread, pasta or food can cause these signs - the mould causes the toxins.”
Sight and co-ordination damage could resolve itself but the family has been told to expect a change in Charlie’s personality and a head tremor may persist.
Lesley, full of praise for his medical care, alerted Falkirk Council to the rubbish and it was due to be cleared this week. She said: “I don’t want anyone else to have an animal suffer.”
Of flytippers, she said: “It’s just sheer laziness and lack of consideration. They obviously don’t care about what it could do to an animal or someone else or what the area looks like for residents and tourists.”
The council’s Mel Bryce said: “There is absolutely no reason for flytipping to blight our communities.
“Falkirk Council provides a free service for the collection of household waste and for any excess waste householders can request a free special uplift by phoning 01324 504411 or they can take it to our recycling centre at Kinneil Kerse.
“Those caught flytipping can face substantial penalties and we will pursue this rigorously.”