'Alcoholic' labrador treated for addiction at Devon rescue centre

Coco Credit: Woodside Animal Welfare Trust

A dog has been treated for alcohol addiction by animal rescue staff in Devon, in what they say is the first case of its kind that they've ever seen.

Coco, a two-year-old labrador cross and another dog were brought to the Woodside Animal Welfare Trust in Plympton following the death of their owner.

Both dogs required emergency care soon after arriving at the centre because they were suffering from fits.

Despite care from the staff, Coco's friend sadly died. However, Coco began the long road to recovery when he was treated for alcohol withdrawal.

Staff at the rescue centre kept Coco under sedation for four weeks to avoid triggering any more fits.

It's not known how the dogs became addicted to alcohol.

In a post on social media, staff from Woodside Animal Rescue Trust said: "Canine alcohol withdrawal, a first for us.

"We would like to introduce you to the newest member of Dunroamin Special Care Unit, a lovely boy called Coco.

"Coco has been with us for over a month, having required intensive care since arriving. His story is a tragic one and evidences how vital our special care unit is.

"After arriving with his canine pal following the death of his owner, he and his companion became quickly unwell. Coco's friend was repeatedly fitting and soon after Coco also started to fit.

"Thankfully a vet was on site at the time and was able to administer emergency care but sadly Coco's friend passed away despite our best efforts.

The rescue centre says the pup isn't ready for adoption yet Credit: Woodside Animal Welfare Trust

"Coco continued to be seriously unwell and required round the clock care. It became clear that he was suffering from symptoms that all pointed to alcohol withdrawal.

"He spent four weeks sedated to help with his withdrawal symptoms and to reduce the risk of further fits.

"We are so thankful that we are now out of danger and Coco is off all medication and is now starting to behave like a normal dog. He is not yet ready for adoption and whilst physically he seems to have recovered, mentally he is still very anxious at times.

"Having the Dunroamin Unit has meant he has been able to be cared for in a more homely environment and away from the main kennels.

"This has most certainly made a difference to his recovery and overall wellbeing. No-one knows the specifics on how these dogs got into the situation with alcohol but we do know that without our care Coco would likely have not survived this heart breaking ordeal."

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