CADBURY the golden retriever nearly died after eating rat poison while out on a walk in Cheltenham.
Now his owner Andy Maxwell is warning other dog walkers to be careful – because he has no idea where on the walk the poison was picked up.
Mr Maxwell, of Charlton Kings, said the seven-year-old dog ate the rat poison on a walk then quickly fell unwell. Mr Maxwell, a director of international aluminium suppliers Pyrotek, was so worried about Cadbury that he flew back from a business trip to be there while vets tried to save him.
"He very nearly died from the rat poison. He was not expected to live that day," he said.
"I had to get back from a business trip to the USA so I rearranged all my flights.
"He's such a big part of our family that it really did make me think just how painful it will be when he dies. I thought his time was up. It was only the great work of the vets who kept him alive. They really did an excellent job.
"Apparently he was losing a lot of blood and it was everywhere. The vets originally thought it was a ruptured tumour but when they opened him up they could tell it was rat poison."
He urged people putting out rat poison to think twice. "The poison he must have eaten had to have been put out without regard for other animals eating it," he said.
"People need to be aware how to safely put out this type of poison and understand the risks to other animals. What's worrying is we don't know where we can safely walk him."
The poison must have been put out in the Charlton Kings, Leckhampton or Cleeve areas of Cheltenham, Mr Maxwell added, as these were the areas covered in the walk.
A team of vets at Honeybourne Vets, based on Overton Park Road, rallied around to treat Cadbury before it was too late. He had a blood transfusion as part of his life-saving operation because the poison can stop the blood from clotting.
Mr Maxwell said: "Apparently they are always looking for dogs to donate blood, which is something I didn't know before."
Cadbury, who won an Echo photo contest in 2006, is now making a speedy recovery and only has some shaved fur to show for his ordeal.
Now his owner hopes other dog owners will look out for the signs that their pet may have eaten rat poison. Symptoms include bleeding, vomiting and coughing. Other signs can include muscle tremors, drooling, breathing problems and fatigue.
Mr Maxwell, also wants people to be more careful when putting down rat poison so that larger animals are unaffected.