Owners are being warned to keep pets away from alcohol this Christmas after two spaniels ended up drunk after drinking a bottle of Advocaat.
Tipsy pair Oscar and Martha needed an emergency trip to the vet's after owners Fiona and Anthony Robson found them in an intoxicated state when they arrived home from work.
Martha was staggering and swaying so badly, she fell over in the garden, while Oscar looked drowsy and depressed.
Their third dog, Brecon, a boisterous cocker spaniel, is thought to have knocked the bottle off a bench in the utility room at the couple’s home in Sunniside, Gateshead.
But he stayed sober, as it was Oscar and Martha who licked it off the floor.
The two clumber spaniels couldn’t resist the taste of Advocaat, a rich creamy beverage made from eggs, sugar and brandy, which is a favourite festive tipple.
When they arrived at Prince Bishop Vetrinary Hospital in Leadgate, near Consett, County Durham, vet Emma Hindson had to induce vomiting, before feeding them activated charcoal to absorb the remaining alcohol.
It is the second case of dogs getting drunk that Prince Bishop Vets have seen during the festive season after two labradors smashed bottles of red wine and lapped up the contents.
Dr Hindson said: “Alcohol affects pets in the same way it does humans, so Oscar and Martha were quite tiddly when they arrived.
“Brecon was absolutely fine, but the other two were a bit wobbly.
"After inducing vomiting and giving them charcoal, we kept them in for observation, as the main concern is dehydration, but they were fine.
“This was an unfortunate accident and their owner did the right thing by bringing them in immediately for treatment.
"Her responsible action meant everything turned out fine and they could go home.”
Owner Fiona, who runs a dog grooming business, had bought the Advocaat to make snowball cocktails over Christmas, and couldn’t believe her eyes when she arrived home to find smashed glass and tipsy pets.
She said: “Brecon, who was clearly the ring-leader, as he jumps on benches, was absolutely fine. Oscar was standing in the corner of the utility room looking sheepish and drowsy.
“Martha was literally staggering and swaying, and fell over when I tried to grab her collar.
“I was panic-stricken, as we are so careful with our pets and could never have imagined anything like this happening.
"Prince Bishop have been my vets for 30 years, so I rushed them there.
“Now they’re fine, I can see the funny side of it – but I won’t be keeping bottles on the top of unit any more. I would advise pet owners to keep everything locked away.”
The Prince Bishop Vets team are urging owners to keep alcohol locked away, mop up spillages, and call vets immediately if pets drink anything.
Dr Hindson added: “A lot of dogs seem to like the taste, so if they drink alcohol, bring them in straight away rather than wait for the side effects.
“Drinking too much can cause vomiting, they can become agitated or excitable, depressed, drowsy and disorientated, and in extreme cases can go into a coma.”