Edinburgh, Fife & East Scotland

Spaniel wolfed down 2lb of garden stones

Samson with Cheryl and Courtney Douglas
Image caption Samson is now recovering at his home in East Lothian

A springer spaniel's health hit the rocks - after he wolfed down 2lbs (0.75kg) of stones from his owner's garden.

Two-year-old Samson's owner Cheryl Douglas feared he had a stomach bug when he refused to eat one day.

Vets later discovered the dog's stomach was full to bursting with a pile of chipped stones.

Samson had the stones removed in an emergency operation at the PDSA's Edinburgh pet hospital.

He is now recovering well at his home in Musselburgh, East Lothian.

PDSA veterinary nurse Seante Glass, who looked after Samson following his operation, said the X-ray images of the dog's stomach were "pretty dramatic".

'Massive obstruction'

"As soon as he arrived at the hospital and the vet felt his bulging stomach, it was clear that there was a massive obstruction," she said.

"The fact that his stomach didn't rupture is quite amazing. Equally, if the stones had gone into his intestines the outlook would have been very poor indeed."

Image caption Samson was lucky the stones did not rupture his stomach

PDSA vet Michael King, who operated on Samson, explained that dogs often use their mouths to explore objects as well as to eat.

He added: "Sometimes the two functions get confused and a dog will eat an object by mistake, even though it had only meant to investigate it which is probably what happened in Samson's case."

Ms Douglas has now removed the stones from her garden to avoid any further incidents.

She said: "Quite how Samson physically managed to swallow so many stones is a real mystery. He does love to play in the garden and obviously took a liking to them."

Some of the symptoms that may indicate a pet has something lodged in its intestines include vomiting, abdominal pain, restlessness, abdominal discomfort, dehydration, lack of or no appetite and a low body temperature.

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