Cocker spaniel puppy Ralph almost dies after eating a Covid face mask

Cocker spaniel puppy Ralph almost dies after eating a fabric Covid face mask that blocked his intestines

  • One-year-old Ralph had to undergo emergency surgery to remove the face mask 
  • Owner Julie Veidman said that an animal charity ‘literally saved his life’  
  • Ralph started throwing up and refusing his favourite food after eating the mask 

A cocker spaniel has been saved by an animal charity after he ate a face mask and started throwing up.   

One-year-old Ralph underwent emergency surgery at Huyton People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) in Liverpool to remove the fabric which had blocked his intestines.

His owner, Julie Veidman, said: ‘We think he must’ve stolen it from my daughter’s bag in the night. 

‘He always had a liking for socks and sometimes knickers too, so we always keep things like that well away from him. We never thought he’d actually eat a facemask.

One-year-old Ralph underwent emergency surgery at Huyton People’s Dispensary for Sick Animals (PDSA) in Liverpool to remove the fabric which had blocked his intestines

‘PDSA were amazing, they were so quick to respond and so caring – they have literally saved his life.’

Ms Veidman first began to notice something was wrong when her dog couldn’t keep water down and refused his favourite treat.

After calling the vet charity for help, she was advised to bring him in for a check-up.

She said: ‘Walking away from the pet hospital holding his empty lead was one of the hardest things I’ve ever done – he’d never been left on his own before.

His owner, Julie Veidman, said: ‘We think he must’ve stolen it from my daughter’s bag in the night.’ Pictured: The face mask Ralph ate

‘Although he’s young and otherwise healthy, I had been made aware of the risks of emergency surgery and I couldn’t help but fear the worst.’

PDSA vet Lizzie Whitton said: ‘Any type of surgery carries risk, and intestinal procedures can come with additional complications, but thankfully Ralph’s operation went very well. However, we were all shocked when we removed a face mask from inside him.’

Ms Veidman turned to PDSA as she had to stop her work as a sale assistant earlier this year, after struggling with abuse from customers during lockdown.


Ms Veidman first began to notice something was wrong when her dog couldn’t keep water down and refused his favourite treat

She said: ‘It was awful and it just became too much, I was really struggling and had to leave.

‘So I don’t have any income right now – without PDSA, we would’ve lost Ralph. He’s been my absolute rock through lockdown, I don’t know what we would’ve done without him.’

The charity has seen a surge in demand for its services since the first lockdown in March, as more people find themselves facing financial difficulties.

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