A nine-month old puppy has been saved after swallowing a stick half the length of his body.
The crossbreed, named Rocky, was taken to Southampton Pet Hospital by his owner after suffering “severe sickness”, vet charity PDSA said.
A team of vets then worked to remove the 10in (25cm) stick during an hour-long emergency operation.
PDSA vet Zofia Bauman said she had “never seen anything like it”, adding the puppy was lucky to be alive.
Rocky’s owner, named only as Joanna, said her pet was “being sick repeatedly and couldn’t keep any food down” before she called for help.
“We knew Rocky was very likely to have eaten something he shouldn’t have to cause his sudden illness and suspected he had a foreign body in his stomach, but we couldn’t believe our eyes when we discovered the stick during surgery,” Ms Bauman said.
“Given its length, and his size, it’s a wonder it hadn’t punctured his vital organs and caused fatal injuries. I’ve never seen anything like it.”
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A PDSA spokeswoman said the charity recommends that owners do not give sticks as toys to their pets.
“Chewing or playing with sticks can cause wounds in the mouth and throat, choking or intestinal blockages as well as the risk of sticks getting lodged in the mouth,” she added.
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