Dog suffocates after head gets stuck in chip bag

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TOMBALL, TX (KTRK/CNN) – A Texas couple is mourning their pit bull mix, Petey, and warning other dog owners after they found him unresponsive with his nose in a tortilla chip bag.

A few weeks ago, Chrissy Young and Christian Villareal left a bag of tortilla chips on the countertop over the weekend. Young says they had been snacking on the chips, but Petey never touched them.

However, when the couple returned home from work Feb. 19, they found Petey unresponsive, with his nose in the chip bag.

The two rushed Petey to the veterinarian, but it was too late. Petey was dead.

Dr. Allison Erkman says she’s heard of cases like this, but it was a first for their clinic.

"Anything on the counter or within their reach in a trash can that's easily knocked over – dogs will follow their nose to just about anything, and I think if they find it tasty enough, they'll go into it," Erkman said.

The vet says while they may never know exactly what happened, it’s likely the bag got stuck behind Petey’s ears after eating the chips.

A dog’s first instinct is to shake its head before pawing at something, Erkman says.

For Young and Villareal, it’s a tough loss. They got Petey three years ago, and he was a part of their family.

"He was a very agile and athletic dog – and very smart – so that was a hard thing to understand until doing the research and seeing how quickly it happens," Young said.

The couple hopes by sharing their story, it could save another dog.

"Obviously knowing how many people, all the positive messages and prayers we've received, helps us to feel like we didn't lose him for nothing. Maybe a piece of him will live on forever," said Young.

Copyright 2018 KTRK, Facebook/Christina Young via CNN. All rights reserved.