Murphy the dog isn't bitter about golf ball bunkering
Vets have discovered why Murphy the German Shepherd was feeling below par - he had six golf balls trapped in his stomach.
The seven-year-old rescue dog underwent an emergency operation to save his life after X-rays revealed unidentified objects inside him.
His owner, David Larson, a joiner from Jarrow, South Tyneside, was stunned as he has not walked Murphy near a golf course in the 18 months since he got him from a home.
The problem came to light when Murphy became ill after eating a bone. He was seen by staff at Westway Veterinary Group, Newcastle, who took some precautionary X-rays.
Mr Larson said: "There were some foreign bodies inside his stomach but the vets couldn't identify what they were, so Westway operated at their hospital and saved his life.
"I couldn't believe it when I heard he had swallowed six golf balls.
"I've only had him for 18 months and he has never come into contact with golf balls during that time, so they must have been lodged inside him for a long time.
"It only became apparent when he swallowed a bone, which made him poorly as he had diarrhoea and was being sick.
"Having the golf balls inside him must have affected him because I've noticed since the operation he is much brighter and much more playful."
The pleased owner added: "He has made an excellent recovery since the operation - and I'm going to make sure he is never given bones or allowed anywhere near a golf course in future."
Vet Mandy Ball said: "Owners need to watch what their dogs get up to when out and about.
"They may even need to put a basket muzzle on their dog when off lead if they are likely to swallow things like balls and stones.
"Dogs can become very ill quickly, as they can obstruct the stomach and intestines."