Monday 18 June 2018

Dog feeling below par has surgery to remove golf ball from stomach

Pongo the Dalmatian was taken to the vet with a urine infection when an X-ray revealed a bigger problem

Undated handout photo issued by PDSA of vet Gemma Hepner with Pongo the Dalmatian, who needed a life-saving operation after swallowing a golf ball on a walk close to a course. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday April 4, 2018. Pongo was taken to PDSA Vets in Edinburgh with a urine infection when an x-ray revealed a bigger problem in his stomach. PDSA/PA Wire
Undated handout photo issued by PDSA of vet Gemma Hepner with Pongo the Dalmatian, who needed a life-saving operation after swallowing a golf ball on a walk close to a course. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Wednesday April 4, 2018. Pongo was taken to PDSA Vets in Edinburgh with a urine infection when an x-ray revealed a bigger problem in his stomach. PDSA/PA Wire

By Paul Ward, Press Association Scotland

A dog needed life-saving surgery after swallowing a golf ball he picked up on a walk near his local course.

Dalmatian Pongo was taken to the vet with a urine infection when an X-ray revealed a bigger problem in his stomach.

PDSA Vets in Edinburgh initially suspected Pongo was suffering from bladder stones, a common ailment for Dalmatians.

Undated handout photo issued by PDSA of an x-ray showing a golf ball found in the stomach of Pongo the Dalmatian, who needed a life-saving operation after swallowing it on a walk close to a course. PDSA/PA Wire
Undated handout photo issued by PDSA of an x-ray showing a golf ball found in the stomach of Pongo the Dalmatian, who needed a life-saving operation after swallowing it on a walk close to a course. PDSA/PA Wire

Vet Gemma Hepner said: “We were primarily looking at the bladder, but the X-ray captured his stomach too – we could clearly see a foreign body in there.

“We knew it was a ball of some kind by the shape but couldn’t tell exactly what type. It was too big for him to pass and there was a real risk it could cause a fatal blockage in his stomach or his intestines if it were to move, so we had to operate to remove it.”

“It could have been there a day or two, or it may have been rolling around in there for weeks, but it could definitely have led to disaster so it’s lucky we X-rayed him when we did.”

Pongo’s owner Jack Harvey, from the Muirhouse area of Edinburgh, was shocked by the discovery.

He said: “I often walk him by a local golf course and he likes to play with the stray golf balls, but I’ve never seen him swallow one.

“It was a complete shock when PDSA told me what they had pulled out of his stomach.”

He added: “I’ve still got the golf ball he swallowed as a reminder and hopefully he’s learned his lesson. I’m planning on watching The Masters this weekend but I think Pongo’s had more than enough golf for one year.”

PDSA said it handles many cases of pets eating unusual objects, with the behaviour known as ‘pica’ where  pets, especially puppies and younger dogs, use their mouth to investigate objects that can be swallowed by mistake.

Press Association

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