A LABRADOR puppy bit off more than it could chew when it ate more than 30 stones.
Six-month-old Charley’s owner, Emma Hamilton, realized what had happened after her pet went off her food and started being sick.
Astonished vets then removed 29 pebbles from her stomach, to add to three she had previously brought up.
Emma, 43, said:
“She previously brought pebbles in from the garden into the kitchen and you would know she had something in her mouth and she would drop them.
“but one night she brought up three pebbles and the next morning she was very sick and wouldn’t eat her food, which is very unlike a lab. She was just very weary. I felt her tummy and I could feel the pebbles crunching together. “
“Not for one minute did I think she would try and bite the pebbles or eat them. She must have been hungry. “
An x-ray at Edinburgh’s Oak Tree Veterinary Centre revealed the extent of Charley’s problem, and also that one of the stones had made its way into her bowel.
The vet initially tried to remove the stones via Charley’s mouth but was eventually forced into performing a one hour operation.
“The vet did an x-ray and he showed me it – I couldn’t believe it.
“At first he tried to take the pebbles out via her mouth but they would only come up so far and then he had to let them go. He didn’t know what size they were until they opened her up.
“He phoned me after the operation and told me there were 29 pebbles. She was very lucky. “
Principal veterinary surgeon at the centre, Alistair Marks, removed the pebbles, which varied in size from one to two inches.
“I could actually hear the stones grinding when she walked. She made a peculiar noise and you could feel them in her tummy. It was fairly straightforward to make a diagnosis.
“We x-rayed her just to get an idea of what sort of size they were and we had a look down with an endoscope to see of there was any possibility of retrieving them without opening her up but it was clear they were too big to get back up.
“We also realized that one was actually in the bowel, which was too far down to get the scope in.
“It was very apparent that we had to act on it there and then. More stones going down into the bowel would have certainly made things much more serious. “
It’s not the first time Alistair has come across strange things eaten by dogs. Previous patients had swallowed items ranging from wine corks and party poppers to jewellery and coins.
“Charley’s x-ray was quite staggering to see how many foreign bodies the one dog had eaten.
“It’s rare to get that number of objects in one patient, I think that was the most I’d seen. “
Charley is now well on her way to recovery.
“Charley is back to herself again.
“We had a muzzle on her for a few days but it was driving her bonkers
“We have to keep a close eye on her now but she’s not gone near the pebbles again. I think she’s learned her lesson. “