Spaniel in fight for life after swallowing rat poison during morning walk

PUBLISHED: 15:41 20 September 2019 | UPDATED: 10:24 21 September 2019

Alfie is now back to being his usual self and

Alfie is now back to being his usual self and "bouncing around" after being treated at Wroxham and Taverham Vets. Photo: Nathan Taylor


A spaniel faced a life-and-death battle after swallowing rat poison when being taken on a morning stroll.

Alfie, with Nathan Taylor's fiancee, Shona Hannant. Photo: Nathan TaylorAlfie, with Nathan Taylor's fiancee, Shona Hannant. Photo: Nathan Taylor

Nathan Taylor, from Sprowston, took his three-year-old dog Alfie for a walk at Cottage Plantation, near Blue Boar Lane, on Wednesday, September 18.

But hours later, when the springer-cocker cross was unable to stand, Mr Taylor realised there was something very wrong with his usually energetic companion.

And vets told the worried owner his serious condition was due to ingesting a form of rat poison which had cooled his core body temperature down and put the pup into an almost comatose state.

"It was touch and go yesterday and we thought he wasn't going to be coming home," he said.

Three-year-old springer-cocker spaniel, Alfie, had a lucky escape after eating rat poison. Photo: Nathan TaylorThree-year-old springer-cocker spaniel, Alfie, had a lucky escape after eating rat poison. Photo: Nathan Taylor

"I opened the fridge up which is a sure fire way to get him off the sofa and he just didn't move. He was starting to slip into a coma.

"There are two types of it - one which cools their body down until they fall into a coma and the other makes them bleed out internally.

"If it had been that one he probably wouldn't be home now."

He added: "The vet put him in a blanket which expands into a bubble and brought his temperature up over a few hours.

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"They pumped him full of fluids to flush it out of his system.

"Poison control said that's all they can do - you've got to give the body a chance to fight it."

Luckily the treatment worked, and after spending the night being looked after, Mr Taylor was able to bring Alfie home on Thursday morning.

"They phoned me and said he was on the mend but he needed supervision overnight," he said.

"I picked him up in the morning and he's back to being a normal dog and bouncing around."

The 30-year-old Aviva delivery manager said he didn't know how Alfie had come across the chemical, adding: "He's always off the lead and in the bushes.

"Afterwards he was absolutely fine but we've got some builders in working on our roof. He was just quiet and wasn't getting up.

"I don't know whether or not it was an accident or deliberately on someone's property.

"But I would just tell everybody to keep an eye on their dog and if they're in the bushes make sure you know what they're doing."

And Mr Taylor, who owns Alfie with his 26-year-old fiancée Shona Hannant, from Norwich, thanked the "amazing vets and nurses at Wroxham and Taverham who were able to save him".

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