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A couple say they were faced with a £1,300 vet bill after claiming a 99p bone bought from Home Bargains almost killed their dog.
Pippa Wilson, 26, from Middlesborough, bought three bones from the retailer earlier this month, and gave one to the family pooch Albas later that day.
While Albas ate the ham-flavoured bone, he began vomiting and passing bloody diarrhoea the next day.
Concerned about his health, Pippa, and partner Sam Hossein, 37, rushed Albas to the vets where he had an x-ray, which confirmed that pieces of the bone had become stuck inside Albas, 'tearing his intestines'.
The vets made the decision to operate on the poor pooch in a bid remove the broken pieces of bone.
Home Bargains has said they were 'very sorry to hear of this unfortunate event', and were liaising closely with the manufacturer and the customer.
"The day after I gave him the bone, he was so unwell with vomit and diarrhoea and blood coming out of his back end," says Pippa.
"We thought he had a sickness bug with so much going around. He was crying and was really poorly and we knew he wasn't right and my partner took him to work and he was vomiting and diarrhoea all over the shop.
"He was straining like he was trying to go to the toilet but nothing was coming out. That night he slept in the outhouse, he didn't want to come in the house I think because he knew he was making a mess everywhere.
"I told my partner there was something really wrong. We took him to the vet and we couldn't believe it, the bill was going higher and higher.
"The vet put her finger up his bum and said that the bone was there, inside him. It was very upsetting for the kids to see him like this, we thought we were going to lose him. We were taking photos of him thinking it was going to be the last time to get photos of him."
Two weeks on from the incident, and while Albas is slowly recovering, Pippa says he is still at an increased risk of a potentially life-threatening infection called peritonitis.
"They x-rayed him and found there was a lot of bone and he was bleeding from inside," Pippa continues.
"His intestines were bleeding. I was so shocked, I didn't take it in. My partner told me to tell them to operate. He didn't care about the money, he wanted him to be ok. We couldn't let anything happen to him.
"We had to syringe-feed him for days - food, water and he was on antibiotics. He's started to eat a little bit now. My partner has been sleeping downstairs with him. He's still bleeding and there's blood in his poo.
"He's not better and there's a high risk of infection due to the cuts from the bones inside. The vet has said if he gets it, it's fatal and there's nothing they can really do about it.
"I'm panicking that he could catch this infection. It's early days and we have to wait because he could pick up and get worse again. The bone is really dangerous."
Pippa shared the incident on Facebook to raise awareness of what's happened, with the post attracting plenty of comments.
Hundreds have sympathised with the family, while some suggested he could have been 'too small' for the bone.
"I went in to get a couple of bits as usual [and] thought the bones would be a nice treat for him," said Pippa.
"You wouldn't even think that something could be dangerous to a dog. We got home, he was excited and we gave him the bone.
"With the kids, we don't always have the time to entertain him as much as he wants and thought the bone would keep him happy for a little bit but it's the worst thing we've ever done.
"I don't know what we'd do without him. We were there the whole time he was chewing it, he wasn't left unsupervised. It's unbelievable.
"People have commented asking why I'd even given my dog the bone and saying it's really irresponsible but I had no idea that it could cause harm.
"If we'd known, we certainly wouldn't have given Albas the bone. When you trust the retailer and shop there often, you don't expect it.
"Some people have said Albas is small, why would I give him a bone? But he's not small, he weighs 19kg. He's short but not small and his head is almost the size of a Shepherd. He's a very busy dog, he's a working breed.
"People have thanked me for sharing this because they've bought the bone for their dog and would have given it to them. It might not happen to every dog but there's a high risk and it's not worth it."
Pippa says she has reported the incident to Home Bargains and hopes the company will reimburse her for the vet bill and take the bone off shelves.
A Home Bargains spokesman said: "We were very sorry to hear of this unfortunate event, and we are liaising closely with the manufacturer and the complainant."
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