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How a Piriton tablet saved this dog's life

Sue Payne of Walking Paws and three-year-old French bulldog Molly  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Sue Payne of Walking Paws and three-year-old French bulldog Molly Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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A professional dog-sitter from Ipswich is being hailed a hero after her quick-thinking actions helped to save a family pet's life.

Sue Payne of Walking Paws and three-year-old French bulldog Molly  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSue Payne of Walking Paws and three-year-old French bulldog Molly Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

When disaster struck and French bulldog Molly fell ill from an allergic reaction while her owner was on holiday Sue Payne of Walking Paws gave her a dose of Piriton.

Vets said this helped Molly, who was inches from death, to breathe properly again and clear her airway - allowing them to nurse her back to health.

However, although Piriton helped in this case, experts have warned the drug should not be given to pets - unless a vet gives specific instructions to do so.

Molly's owner Sarah Finch, who wants to publicly thank Sue and raise awareness of allergies in animals, described the moment disaster struck: "My heart sank when Sue called me while I was travelling back from holiday in France - I immediately got that horrible feeling that something was wrong with my two cats or dogs.

Molly  was bitten by a wasp gave her a piriton
 which saved her life  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNMolly was bitten by a wasp gave her a piriton which saved her life Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

"She told me my French bulldog Molly had suffered an allergic reaction to something while on a walk with other dogs and had suddenly come up in hives and lumps all over.

"Apparently she could barely see, was lame all over and struggling to breathe.

"She was met by vets in the road near Christchurch Vets because Molly had at this point gone limp and was struggling to breathe.

"It was really scary and not something any pet owner wants to go through.

Sue Payne of Walking Paws and three-year-old French bulldog Molly  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSue Payne of Walking Paws and three-year-old French bulldog Molly Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

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Sue told me afterwards she was really frightened Molly wouldn't make it."

Once Molly had been given steroid injections, vets monitored her until she was stable.

They then revealed things could have been very different - had it not been for Sue's quick thinking, by giving Molly a Piriton tablet as soon as she spotted something was wrong, Molly's airway may not have stayed open long enough to allow vets to save her.

Sue Payne of Walking Paws and three-year-old French bulldog Molly  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSue Payne of Walking Paws and three-year-old French bulldog Molly Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Sue, who regularly walks Sarah's dogs and boards them while the family go on holiday, said she acted on instinct - last summer a dog was stung by a wasp and medics told her to administer Piriton, so she tried the same tactic this time.

The pair are still in the dark about what caused Molly's allergic reaction, but she is now on the road to recovery.

Sarah added: "The main point for me is to make people aware that animals also suffer allergic reactions, and to be aware of the potential consequences."

Despite the allergy medicine helping Molly in this case, Charlotte Morrison, practice manager at Christchurch Vets, warned: "Piriton should not be given to animals without strict prior veterinary advice."

Sue Payne of Walking Paws and three-year-old French bulldog Molly  Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWNSue Payne of Walking Paws and three-year-old French bulldog Molly Picture: SARAH LUCY BROWN

Can I give my dog Piriton for allergies?

Experts at an Ipswich-based veterinary surgery warned against giving pets Piriton without seeking advice from them first.

Charlotte Morrison, practice manager at Christchurch Vets, said: "Piriton should not be given to animals without strict prior veterinary advice."

- For help and advice, contact your nearest veterinary practice.

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