Hello Treacle!

I am writing this on the 3rd of January after a 4 week period of indulgence verging on gluttony. I think if I was to have my liver analysed that it would probably produce some of the richest pate in Europe! We’re just emerging from a period where the whole family (both 2 and 4 legged) tend to end up eating things that they shouldn’t: either because said food is continually offered until the resistance to say “no” breaks down (2 legged), because said food is in an easily obtainable position and can be stolen (4 legged) or because the food has been cooked and so it needs disposing of (2 and 4 legged).

I am reminded of a time when I was about 10 years old and came back from school at the end of the Winter term having recently witnessed the manufacture of brandy snaps in some kind of cookery class or similar.  I was full of enthusiasm and determined to repeat the process in the comfort of our own kitchen. I suspect my mother was suitably sceptical, but did not want to supress my creative intents and so consented to my first solo baking experience – after all, I did like a brandy snap! The mixture was created with the usage of every pot and pan within my 10 year old reach, smeared onto a baking tray and put into the oven with the reverence with which it deserved.

I’m not sure whether the main problem was baking time, lack of grease proof paper or (most likely) a fundamental issue with the brandy snap mixture, but when time was up, what emerged from the oven was not ready to be rolled into tasty cylinders and it also did not look particularly edible. After the necessary period of mourning for my wasted creative time and effort, I came to inevitable conclusion that the contents of the baking tray needed to be disposed of. Using a soft rubber spatula I began to lever off the contents of the baking tray with varying success – I ended up with a gigantic dark brown lollipop of foul smelling, tarry, brandy-snap wannabe in my hand and a pretty much redundant baking tray. Try as I might, I could not get the mixture from the end of the spatula, so I went out into the garden to try and flick it off. After a couple of efforts, the top heavy globule of mixture flew off into the long grass at the back of the garden. However, the feeling of success was short lived as I looked down at the spatula to realise that I was only holding the handle and the rubber head had remained stuck in the centre of my baking disaster. With little chance of ever salvaging the head, I decided to cut my losses and retreat back into the kitchen.

We didn’t think much of this until 2 days later when our chocolate labrador, Wooster, seemed to be a bit off colour and constantly asking to go out into the garden. After a period of persistence, we followed him out and watched in amazement as he proceeded to pass a spatula head, remarkably clear of any of the rancid faux toffee mixture with which it had previously been covered. It appeared that his digestive system had achieved what no dishwasher could and that my culinary efforts weren’t quite as unpalatable as previously thought. As I pointed out to my mother, the only negative being that we had unfortunately thrown away the handle from the spatula 2 days previously….

We see lots of pets at all times of the year which have eaten things which they shouldn’t have. These can range from “over indulging” to the consumption of known toxins to the ingestion of “foreign bodies”. If you think your pet has eaten something which could be harmful, of course you should contact the practice. We’ll be able to give advice on how to proceed depending on what has been eaten. This may involve treatment such as intravenous fluids, the induction of vomiting, specific anti-toxins or possibly just monitoring, as resolution may occur without treatment - such as in the case of spatula-head ingestion!