Dog owner’s warning over dangerous BBQ brush after pet nearly died twice

The dog ate hundreds of bristles from a BBQ cleaning brush – and nearly died twice as a result – just because he couldn’t resist the delicious smells coming from the garden

Riley had to be bulk fed to clear the bristles

A dog escaped death twice after eating ‘razor-sharp bristles’ from a barbecue cleaning brush.

The labradoodle, named Riley, twice swallowed potentially deadly spikes after licking a wire cleaning brush.

Owner Leon Tomasevic, from Nottingham, has been calling for a ban on the cheap, flimsy brushes with bristles that shed easily and can perforate internal organs, causing fatal bleeding.

He said: “The first time was at home, when he’d gone out in the garden in the morning as a puppy and found the barbecue brush lying around.

“We had absolutely no idea of ​​the dangers but when he started chewing at it, because of the flavors and scents of the cooking, the tiny bristles just came off.

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Riley had two emergency trip to the vets after eating the danger brush

“He was sick within minutes and our vets were incredibly worried. There were literally hundreds of bristles, and it would have been impossible to operate and get them all out.”

The only option was to bulk-feed Riley, giving him repeated meals of pasta, bread and mashed potato to try to help the bristles pass through naturally without causing damage.

Thankfully, it worked after a few days, but on the second occasion the family were visiting friends and were not aware there was a barbecue with a brush in the garden.

Before they could do anything, hungry Riley had chewed at the brush head, ingesting the razor-sharp bristles.

“I saw he’d gone quiet, which is generally a sign of mischief, and my heart sank when I saw what he was doing,” said Leon. “I couldn’t believe it had happened again.

“It was a Sunday so I called Vets Now straight away and got him along as fast as I could.

“He was sick in the car and then he had to be sedated for the X-rays, which showed he was absolutely full to the brim of little wire bristles in his stomach and intestines.”

After the X-ray and careful examination, Riley was allowed home to follow the same bulk feeding regimen. Once again it worked, but having seen his dog face death twice, Leon thinks more needs to be done.

“These brushes should be banned, they are absolutely deadly,” said Leon. “If you scrub a grill with a cheap one, you’ll see these bristles just fly off and they are real killers.”

With many bank holiday revellers likely to enjoy a barbecue over the weekend, vets are urging dog owners to be on their guard.

Emergency care provider, Vets Now, has seen cases of barbecue-related injuries almost double since 2019.

The 99 per cent increase includes dogs eating skewers, charcoal, dangerous corn on the cobs, and – like as seen with Riley – wire cleaning brushes with lethal spikes.

Emergency vet Aoife Reid, head of their Edge programmes, said: “We see a number of unusual injuries at this time of year as barbecues and parties in particular can be hazardous for pets.

“As well as swallowing kebab skewers, eating cooked bones, developing food poisoning, or sustaining burn injuries from stealing piping hot food from the barbecue, pets can also sustain traumatic injuries such as getting their tails stuck in patio doors and breaking their legs.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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