You know those flyers you get in the mail each week? You’d probably assume that the only danger they pose is tricking you into buying things you don’t necessarily need in order to take advantage of coupons, right? Wrong.
Earlier this year, a Jack Russell Terrier by the name of Alfie learned the hard way just how dangerous chewing on flyers can be.
After a Domino’s Pizza flyer was delivered to his owner’s house, Alfie was so enticed by the delicious looking pizza he decided to see if the pizza tasted as good as it appeared.
When his owners found him just minutes later, they were horrified to see their pup lying on the ground convulsing and frothing from his clamped mouth. Thinking it was a seizure, they immediately rushed Alfie to the vet who performed a series of tests, all of which came back clear. Five hours later the vet was able to unlock Alfie’s jaw and he recovered from his mystery illness.
After an extensive online search, Alfie’s owners discovered that the glossy paper used for many such flyers, NOT just those used by Domino’s, tend to react to canine saliva.
When a dog’s saliva and this paper mix, it creates a sticky paste that can set and cause a dog’s mouth to become glued shut.
As it turns out, Alfie wasn’t the first dog to experience this scary situation. In 2008, a Scottish Terrier name Cymbeline displayed similar symptoms after chewing up a take out menu for Roosters restaurant. Fortunately, this phenomenon doesn’t appear to be a widespread problem.
While we are aware of at least two dogs that have experienced locked jaws due to chewing on glossy flyers, the chances of it happening again are low. The vet who treated Cymbeline himself said “it was pretty unusual, I’ve never seen anything like it before in 20 years so the chances of it happening again are pretty rare.”
The chances of this happening to your own dog may be low, but Alfie and Cymbeline’s stories offer an important lesson to pet owners. To avoid a repeat of this unusual occurrence, it’s best to keep your pup from chewing on anything aside from dog-approved toys.
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