A 7-year-old Labrador in England needed emergency surgery over the weekend after he swallowed more than 30 gingerbread Christmas tree decorations.
The pup – known as Marley – underwent two life-saving operations at the PDSA Pet Hospital in Dorset town after he became critically ill from eating both the cookies and the attached ribbon that had been set aside by his owner on the kitchen counter.
“I thought I’d left them safely out of reach, but when I noticed some were gone, I instantly knew who had taken them," Rachael Bulmer, Marley’s owner told the Guardian.
After a three hour operation that cost more than $2,600, veterinarians managed to remove 34 holiday-themed ribbons from inside Marley, who had formed a near-fatal blockage.
They also removed several bones the pup had swallowed as well.
PDSA senior veterinarian Aoife Clancy called the surgery "high risk," and ordered "critical round-the-clock" care before discharging the dog. She also issued strong warnings to pet owners who are preparing for the holidays.
“It’s important that owners make sure decorations and toxic Christmas foods are safe from curious paws," Clancy said, "as they can be incredibly harmful to our pets.”
Marley is now on "strict cage rest" at home, but is recovering nicely.
The cost of the operation was covered in full by public donations.