BELLA the beagle is lucky to be alive – after swallowing five thousand staples.
The four-year-old pet chomped half a kilo of needle-sharp metal at its owner’s home in Glasgow.
Vets carried out an emergency operation on the metal-munching mutt and managed to remove the blockage.
Some of the staples had already begun to enter Bella’s intestines where they could have caused an agonising, fatal blockage.
The metal had even started to corrode, posing a serious risk of poisoning.
Owner Fiona Dinning, 32, is naturally delighted Bella survived but is now nursing a £1200 hit to her bank balance for vet’s fees.
The drama happened after Fiona, 32, left a £2.99 box of staples out at her home in the Pollockshaws area of the city.
She said: “I was out for a few hours and came back to find the box of staples had been removed from a desk.”
Bella brought up some of the staples and Fiona assumed nature would take care of the rest.
But when she continued to be sick, Fiona decided to take her to a vet for a check-up.
An X-ray revealed a gigantic mass of staples filling her stomach. A few had started to make their way into her intestines.
Vet Susan Geary carried out an emergency operation.
She said: “When I saw the X-ray I got quite a shock – what a thing for an animal to eat.
“We spent about two to three hours in the operating room. It took about an hour and half to remove the staples themselves – there was thousands of them. It was quite a mission.”
She added: “We found that the staples formed a tight bundle as big as fist and they were corroding from the stomach acid so it was important to get every last one out as fast as possible.”
Fiona took on Bella from a dog rescue centre in February.
“Bella never ceases to amaze me,” she said. “How she got the staples down is wondrous enough but the fact that she munched so many of them is beyond me.
“I’m just so glad she’s OK and have learnt that, where beagles are concerned, you should never underestimate their determination and lack of sense.”
She added: “Bella once ate a pink golf ball, the plastic handle of a razor and a size 11 sock. All passed through OK.
“I think the problem with Beagles is that they are so inquisitive and food orientated that they will eat almost anything when they show an interest.”
Bella is recovering well after her ordeal and enjoying canine fame as a result.
The Facebook page Everyone Loves A Beagle has named Bella their ‘beagle of the week’.