A distraught family has issued a shocking warning about the dangers of HAIR TIES after their beloved dog was nearly killed after eating 117 of them – along with other common household items.
Adorable little Charlie is lucky to be alive after horrified vets pulled out 117 hair ties weighing 2lbs from his tiny stomach – as well as a few candy wrappers, a teddy bear’s ear and material from two pairs of underwear.
The two-year-old mini petite goldendoodle went under the knife for the live saving surgery last month [26 APRIL] after suddenly becoming seriously ill.
Jenee Clayton, 40, from Texarkana, Texas, USA, said that in the months leading up to the emergency surgery, there has been a couple of rare occasions where Charlie had made ‘purging’ noises without vomiting and had experienced a bout of diarrhea.
The mum-of-three said she did not take much notice of these occurrences because they seemed like a ‘one-off’ and Charlie was fine afterwards – but now wishes she realised the symptoms were a sign of something more sinister.
A few months later, the family’s beloved dog – who Jenee said is like her ‘fourth child’ – suddenly became seriously ill and began vomiting, refused to eat or drink, and had serious constipation.
The horrified family rushed Charlie to the Westridge Animal Hospital where their vet Dr Randall Murray performed a physical examination and said there was tenderness in his abdomen.
A shocking X-Ray revealed there to be an unidentified mass in Charlie’s stomach that was causing the blockage – and when vets performed emergency surgery, they were shocked at what they found.
The dog’s tiny stomach was filled to the brim with 117 hair ties, along with a few candy wrappers, a teddy bear’s ear and material from two pairs of underwear – a dangerous mass that weighed 2lbs.
Dental hygienist Jenee said: “I have three kids, but we always joke that Charlie is my fourth. He is involved in every aspect of our lives and is a major part of our family.
“A few months ago, he woke up in the middle of the night like he wanted to throw up. He made a sort of purging sound, but nothing came up.
“I didn’t think much of it as he went straight back to sleep. About a month later he did the same thing, by making that purging sound.
“He got bout of diarrhea, but I thought it was just something he ate that didn’t agree with him.
“But people need to be aware that if their dog has any of those symptoms, you should take them to the vet even if it’s just a one-off thing.
“I think he was trying to tell us something was wrong, but as it was so infrequent, we just thought it was a one-time weird thing.
“But then one night he woke up in the middle of the night and vomited multiple times. He wasn’t eating and wasn’t drinking any water, so we took him straight into the vet.
“The vet told us that he could feel some tenderness in his abdomen. He kept him overnight with an IV to get him rehydrated, and the next day he took Charlie in for an X-Ray.
“I got a call from him the next day saying he would need surgery. They had no idea what was in his stomach, but it was a huge mass and too big for him to pass.
“It wasn’t until they did the surgery and removed everything that they realised it was hair ties, along with a few other things he had eaten.
“The vet said Charlie was very lucky. If we didn’t take him to the vet, he would be dead.”
Jenee said she and her X-Ray technician husband Jamie, 42, were shocked that Charlie could consume so many ponytail holders – and both had ‘absolutely no idea’ it was happening.
The mum added that she and her two daughters Marcie, 14, and Paige, eight, use hair ties daily and never worried if they went missing as they are ‘just one of those things’ that get lost easily.
Jenee, who is also mum to Trace, 22, said: “We had no idea we had that many hair ties, or that they were even missing.
“There are three girls in our house with long hair who use ponytail holders daily. I just thought they got broken or lost.
“Hair ties are like pennies. They’re not valuable and if you lose them, so what, you can go out and get some more.
“You don’t notice when they go missing, it is just one of those things. We never saw Charlie with them in his mouth.
“We never in a million years thought he was eating them.
“We didn’t leave them laying all over the floor. We were not irresponsible, and we didn’t neglect our dog.
“It was over a two-year time period so there was no way we could have noticed.
“As for the other things they found, I have no clue. Once Charlie had ripped up a pair of underwear, but we just put it in the bin and forgot about it.”
Jenee said she and her family have become extra vigilant about leaving anything in reach of where Charlie could eat it – and now always leave their hair ties on high shelves.
Thankfully, adorable little Charlie is back to his normal energetic and happy doggy-self, with the formerly 20 lbs dog now weighing 18 lbs after the surgery.
A photograph of the 117 hair ties removed from Charlie’s stomach has gone viral online, racking up over 50,000 likes and shares on Facebook.
She said: “Now that we know that hair ties are his ‘fetish’ we take so many precautions.
“If we take a hair tie out, we put it up high now so he can’t get them.
“The doctor gave us a 50/50 chance of him making it. We didn’t know if he was going to pull through.
“We were all so distraught about it, everyone was crying. We’re so happy that he is back to normal.
“He is a total sweetheart and very loving dog. We are just so grateful that he is still here.
“He means the world to us. We love Charlie so much.”