Vets Call For Tougher Fireworks Laws After Startled Dog Seriously Injured
A group of vets in North West England are calling for the government to ban the sale of fireworks for private use, after seeing so many dogs injured because of being so petrified.
One dog in particular, Welsh Terrier Taffy - a rescue dog who is around 12-years-old - bolted onto a busy road and beneath the wheels of a car after hearing a firework overhead bang loudly.
He's not the only dog to be terrified of the noise created by loud fireworks. Every year owners of cats and dogs voice their thoughts on how distressing this time of year is for their animals, suggesting that fireworks don't need to be so loud.
And now vets are joining them, calling for tougher regulations - from banning private use and allowing them only between certain dates each year.
And Robert and Susan Lomas from Manchester, who own Taffy, agree more regulations are needed.
Robert had to rush his pup to an after-hours vets after pulling him out from under a car, he told Vets Now. The dog, although alive, was urinating blood and shaking.
Robert, 37, said: "Taffy bolted in sheer terror before I could lock the lead. In a fraction of a second, he was on the road and under the car."
Luckily, although traumatic, Robert thinks that by eventually pulling back hard on the long lead, he might have saved Taffy from serious harm.
"I think he almost bounced off the wheel rather than go fully under it," Robert added.He told Vets Now: "It really was horrible, so traumatic. I was really upset and shaken up.
"I tried to get him into the house, but he was urinating blood and I panicked."
The emergency Vets Now service in Manchester stabilised Taffy, gave him medication for pain and carried out a thorough investigation into his injuries.
In a report on its website, the company said: "Although he hadn't suffered any broken bones, his skin was inflamed and there was material floating in his bladder.
"After discussions, it was decided to keep him under close observation, monitoring and clinical assessment overnight just in case he suffered haemorrhaging."
And if it hadn't been for the private firework display in Robert's road, it never would've happened.
Laura Playforth, professional standards director at Vets Now, said: "Every year our emergency vets see pets who have been involved in road traffic accidents after being spooked by fireworks.
"Some, like Taffy, get so scared by the loud bangs they run off while others suffer stress and anxiety attacks.
Graphic designer Robert and wife Susan who have a three-year-old son, had an anxious wait when Vets Now decided to keep Taffy in overnight and all because of a firework.
"Vets Now were absolutely brilliant, so calm and reassuring, but I was worried he might not come through it," said Robert. "And even if he did, as he's an old dog, would he ever be the same again?"
Thankfully, the story has a happy ending, because Taffy was allowed home the next day, eventually making a full recovery. But one year on, the family are dreading the weeks around Bonfire Night.
"We always dread bonfire night because Taffy is so scared," said Robert.
"One of us will sit with him on our lap and hug him but he shakes and absolutely hates it. The echoing of the bangs make him so distressed. It starts weeks before November 5th and goes on well afterwards."
"I'd definitely support moves to restrict sales, license displays and reduce the decibel level," he added.
"I'm sure they have got much noisier over the years, which is why I think quieter fireworks are such a great idea.
Amanda Boag, clinical director at Vets Now, called on the government to do more to prevent irresponsible use of fireworks.
She said: "Fireworks can be hugely distressing for pets when they're let off unexpectedly.
"They are also too noisy and too easily available. To reduce the distress caused to pets we urgently need a review of fireworks regulations to prevent supermarkets and other retailers from selling them for private use.
"We'd also like to see their use restricted to licensed public events, which are well publicised in advance, around traditional dates only."
A poll carried out by Vets Now shows there is support for tighter controls. 96% of more than 7,000 respondents said they would support tighter controls on fireworks while 73% said their pets were scared of the noise they create.
Ireland has already made the move to ban the sale of private-use fireworks. Could it be time other countries did the same too?
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