From riding crops to a rubber chicken, vets have released a list of the most unusual items which they’ve had to remove from dogs’ stomachs.
Top 10 most unusual items
1. Underwear of owner’s ‘non-partner’
2. Riding crop
3. Carpet thread running from mouth to bottom
4. Needle and thread
5. Whole baked potato
6. Rubber chicken (whole)
7. Christmas tinsel
8. Corn on the cob middle
9. Baby’s dummy teat
10. Barbie doll head (without hair)
Vets4Pets surveyed its practices after the one in Newton Abbot had to remove a 21in riding crop from a boxer dog.
One of the most curious was underwear that belonged to someone other than the partner of the owner.
“Underwear and socks are not uncommon items that dogs can eat, but it’s highly unusual to find out they don’t belong to the owner or their partner,” said Dr Huw Stacey, director of clinical services at Vets4Pets.
“On those occasions the vet’s role is simply to remove the item(s) and ensure the dog is fit and well before returning them to their owner(s).
“Of course dogs can often consume items left lying around the house, garden or outdoors, so it’s important that owners are aware of what their pet is doing, in case of an emergency.
“Golf balls, ping pong balls and pebbles are commonly found, often requiring surgery to remove them, but the list we’ve compiled demonstrates that dogs can find a huge variety of items to eat, with or without their owner’s knowledge.”
In Keighley, the practice was brought a ‘carpet-eating’ dog which had chewed up a carpet and kept pulling at the thread.
Eventually it had eaten so much that one end of the thread was hanging out of its mouth and the other end was coming out of its backside.
“In all the cases we’ve highlighted the skill of the veterinary teams have ensured a happy ending - well certainly for the dog,” said Dr Stacey.
“But by highlighting these items we’re hoping to make owners aware that their pets can eat almost anything,” added Dr Stacey.
The warning extends beyond the more unusual items, with stick injuries one of the most common reason for dogs to visit the vet.
Dr Stacey said: “Stick injuries are very common and can often cause significant harm to a dog and can sometimes be fatal.
“The most common injury occurs when it sticks into the ground, and when the dog runs towards it, they can impale themselves, causing deep wounds to the mouth, throat, neck or chest.
“As well as these injuries, splinters and fragments can be left behind which can be difficult to find and remove, since they are hard to identify on an x-ray.”