May 13, 2016 – A dog almost blinded and left fighting for life after chewing a disinfectant bottle has made a miraculous recovery.

Jack Russell cross, Ruby, 11, briefly got her paws on the bottle and a small amount splashed in her face. When owner Gary James saw what happened, he immediately washed her face with water, and she seemed unaffected.

But the following morning Gary awoke to find Ruby struggling to breathe; she was in a very bad way.

Gary rushed Ruby to Bournemouth PDSA Pet Hospital, where she was admitted in a critical condition.

“Her tongue was very swollen, she was foaming at the mouth and severely dehydrated. She was put on a drip and given pain relief. We monitored her closely. At this stage, there were no signs of chemical burns – it was unclear what was causing the problem,” said PDSA vet Emily Sharp.

“But 12 hours later, a discharge around her eyes, nose and mouth started to appear. Further tests revealed both eyes were severely ulcerated as both corneas had suffered chemical burns. The skin around her nose and mouth was inflamed, which we then attributed to the household detergent she came into contact with the previous day.”

Now PDSA vets were battling to save not only Ruby’s sight, but her life. She wasn’t eating due to the swelling and pain in her mouth, so was getting weaker by the day. And she couldn’t lubricate her eyes so antibiotics and drops were administered around the clock, day and night, in a bid to prevent her from going blind.”

Emily said they had to consider euthanasia as an option, but Ruby started eating and the swelling began to go down.

After five days Ruby was allowed home. Gary continued her recuperation by putting the drops in her eyes and continuing her medication.

“Ruby has been part of our family since she was 6-months-old and my children love her to bits. Obviously we keep harmful things out of her reach but on this one occasion she came across a disinfectant bottle and bit into it. It was quite out of character but shows you just can’t be too careful,” said Gary.

“I washed her face, and everything seemed fine. But next morning I was so shocked when I saw her. We were all devastated when we thought we were going to lose her. I’m so grateful to PDSA for saving Ruby’s life, I don’t know what we would have done without them. I can’t thank them enough.”

PDSA vet Emily Sharp concluded: “Ruby had a lucky escape from an horrific ordeal. It highlights that there are many hidden dangers in our homes that can harm our pets. I’d urge all pet owners to ensure chemicals are well out of reach of prying paws. Speak to your vet if you’re worried they may have come into contact with something potentially unsafe.”

Ruby has gone on to make a remarkable recovery. Her treatment cost PDSA over £500, and was only possible thanks to the support the charity receives from animal lovers around the country.

To make a donation to support PDSA’s life-saving work text PAWS to 70111 to donate £3*.

PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity, treating 470,000 pets annually across its 51 Pet Hospitals. The charity strives to improve all pets’ lives through education, preventive care and emergency treatment. For more information visit

Photo: Ruby with her little humans and vet Emily Sharp, courtesy Tom Wren/BNPS


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