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Owner appeals for safety changes to paper shredders
after pet’s tongue is almost amputated

A DOG owner from Tyne & Wear is pleading for modifications to be made to electronic paper shredders after her Jack Russell almost lost his tongue in one.

Liz Beech was shredding documents and had turned her back for a moment when the curious canine started sniffing and licking the machine, which quickly set off its cutting mechanism.
Five-year old ‘Pod’s’ tongue became entangled within the blades and quickly began to bleed heavily. Liz rushed the dog to the vets - the Prince Bishop Veterinary Hospital in Leadgate near Consett - where a team of experienced veterinary surgeons were shocked by the state of poor Pod’s tongue.

Principal vet Jacqui Molyneux, who is one of only 200 practitioners in the UK holding the specialist Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons (RCVS) Certificate in Small Animal Surgery, said: ‘It certainly looked a huge challenge, as Pod’s tongue was literally in slices. We kept him in overnight after initially sewing the tongue, but the stitches worked loose during the night so I decided to staple the tongue.’

Pod was released after another night’s stay in hospital, and while initially finding eating and drinking very difficult, the little dog’s condition slowly improved after he had the staples removed nine days later.

Liz said: ‘Pod really had a very lucky escape as thankfully we don’t have a cross-cut shredder and Jacqui did a fantastic job in saving his tongue. I initially thought about writing to complain to the manufacturers as after doing some research on the Internet it seems that this sort of thing is quite common.

‘I would ask all manufacturers of paper shredders to consider adding a flap to cover the machine’s shredding mechanism, which would need to be lifted by any curious animal, or indeed young child, to activate it.’

Tongues are not the only part of an animal’s anatomy that have been known to get caught in paper shredders - several long-eared dogs such as Spaniels have had parts of their ears amputated following nasty accidents with these machines.

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