HORRIFYING pictures show metal hooks embedded into the stomach of a peckish pooch – after she wolfed down discarded fishing equipment.
Lucy, a seven-year-old miniature schnauzer, had to have £2,000 life-saving surgery after a precautionary X-ray revealed she had accidentally swallowed two large hooks whilst out on a walk.
She was exploring East Haven beach in Angus last week when she sniffed out leftover fish heads and swallowed them down with the hooks still attached.
Her owners noticed a fishing line dangling from her mouth and took her to the vet with concerns that she may have swallowed more than she bargained for.
And shocking X-ray images revealed the extent of the damage – showing a large metal hook suspended in Lucy’s stomach and another embedded in her stomach lining.
Luckily, vets were able to remove the hooks and Lucy is on the way to a full recovery.
Her owners, Andy and Stella Edward from Carnoustie, are now hoping that this almost tragic incident serves as a warning to other dog walkers and fisherman.
Andy, 64 said: “They were great big fishing hooks, massive things and there was still food attached – mainly fish heads.
“I was very fortunate as I noticed the line attached to the hook in her mouth.
“I grabbed her and looked inside but the next thing it was gone. I wasn’t sure if she had already spat it out so when we got her home we phoned the vet and he said to bring her in for an X-ray.
“The vets found two hooks in her – if I had managed to get that first hook out then I wouldn’t have even gone to the vets and then wouldn’t have found the other one so we have been really lucky.”
Wallace Vets in Carnoustie, Angus, where Lucy was treated, have reported a number of incidents over the years caused by washed up angling equipment.
Owner Niall Morton said: “There will be fisherman cutting their lines and dumping them and sometimes they might just snap.
“This kind of thing happens if they don’t clear up after themselves and it can have serious consequences for dogs out walking and even other animals.
“About a year ago we had to remove a hook from inside a dog’s mouth for the same reason.
“If Lucy hadn’t been seen it could have been incredibly serious – the barbed area was stuck in her stomach lining so that wasn’t going anywhere.
“It would have had to be pushed out which can then lead to further complications and the other hook still had the line attached which could have ended up causing a lot of cramping and pain.”
Lucy is now recovering at home following the operation, which could cost up to £2,000, and is due to go back to the vets tomorrow to get her stitches removed.
Andy added: “She’s fine now, she’s back to her normal self. Although now she wears a muzzle when she’s out on the beach just to make sure the same thing doesn’t happen again.
“I don’t know if it’s down to thoughtlessness or ignorance on the part of the fishermen, but hopefully what has happened will encourage them to act more responsibly when disposing of fishing tackle.”