Puppy undergoes emergency operation to remove stick half the size of its body
A nine-month old puppy has been saved after it swallowed a stick that was half the length of its body.
The owner of Rocky took the crossbreed puppy to the Southampton PDSA Pet Hospital after it suffered severe sickness.
Owner Joanna, 36, said: "Rocky was being sick repeatedly and couldn't keep any food down. I was so worried and I had no idea what was wrong. I called PDSA and they told me to bring him straight in."
The dog was admitted as an emergency and the vets removed the 10-inch stick following an hour-long operation.
Rocky needed close monitoring in the hospital overnight to ensure no internal bleeding occurred.
PDSA vet Zofia Bauman said: "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.
"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."
Joanna added: "We couldn't believe he'd managed to swallow a stick that was half the length of his body.
"We didn't see it happen and think he must have got hold of it in the garden.
"Thankfully, he's on the mend and feeling better already, and that's all thanks to PDSA.
"They are wonderful and I would like to thank the vet team who helped save our little treasure. I think PDSA are the best charity in the world."
A PDSA spokeswoman said the charity recommends that owners should not give sticks as toys to their pets and added: "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."
For information about PDSA and how to support it visit: www.pdsa.org.uk/appeal