NORTH HAVEN, Conn. (WTNH) — You may not think of your Christmas lights as a danger to your pets, but they can be.
A North Haven family’s puppy was nearly killed after it chewed on the family’s Christmas tree lights. The wires are low enough on most trees that even small dogs can reach them.
Ellie’s owners are hugging her a little tighter now. She’s an 8-month-old Chihuahua. “She’s our little Christmas miracle,” said owner Dawn Styles.
Earlier this week her daughter, Alyssa Estabrook, found Ellie lying on the floor with the Christmas lights in her mouth. The lights were still sparking when Estabrook and her brother pulled them out of the dog’s mouth. They got shocked too.
“It’s the last thing we would have thought about. We were excited,” said Estabrook. “It’s her first Christmas. The last thing we thought about was her getting into the lights.”
The lights were not on, but Ellie was not moving or breathing afterward. Estabrook and her brother rushed the puppy to Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine in North Haven. Vets say Ellie had been electrocuted, and that it’s more common than you might think.
“Whenever you have an electrocution, you worry about low oxygen,” said Julia Shakeri, who treated Ellie. “You worry about brain damage. You worry about trauma to the lungs.”
Puppies are especially prone to chew on lights or any type of wire or cord. However, Estabrook says Ellie has never chewed wires before this. The family has had her since July.
Ellie went home from the animal hospital on Wednesday night. On Thursday she was still very tired from her medication.
“I was just scared for her,” said Estabrook. “I could not imagine our eight-month-old puppy not coming home.”
Estabrook is now relieved. Ellie is doing well and is expected to make a full recovery. She will have some scars, however.
The family is now being extremely careful to keep the puppy safe.
“She has not been out of anyone’s sight since she got home,” said Estabrook. “We’re not plugging the lights in. We’re going to plug them in maybe once Christmas morning and that’s going to be it.”
To protect your pets around the holidays, vets recommend making sure all wires are tied up and running longer wires through PVC piping. They also suggest keeping covers on outlets.