Dog Magazine

Can Dogs Swallow Tennis Balls? This Labrador Served up a Surprising Answer

Vets in Margate carried out lifesaving surgery on a dog struck down by a mystery illness – and discovered a tennis ball in his stomach.

One-year-old Labrador, Henry, was taken to PDSA’s Pet Clinic in Margate, The Frank and Ethel Fright Centre, by owners Howard and Dawn Elvy when he stopped eating and began crying with pain.

File photo

“Henry usually enjoys his food, so when he went off it we were worried,” says Howard. “He was crying loudly and was clearly in a lot of pain, so we took him straight to PDSA.”

Henry underwent emergency tests to find the cause of his illness. His worried owners were shocked when an x-ray revealed a tennis ball was blocking his stomach.

Howard said: “We were worried sick. It must have been really nasty for him and it’s terrible to think the blockage could have killed him.”

PDSA Vet Nurse, Christopher Russell, said: “Henry was seriously ill when he was brought to see us. The ball was causing a blockage which, if not removed, would have eventually killed him. He had to undergo major surgery to remove the ball, but thankfully it went well and he’s since made a full recovery.”

Once removed, relieved owners Howard and Dawn recognised the ball as one of Henry’s they had last seen several weeks earlier while playing at the beach.

Howard added: “We treat Henry as one of the family and he means the world to us both. As pensioners, we couldn’t possibly have afforded his treatment, so we’re both very grateful to the vets and nurses at PDSA for helping Henry.”

Two out of every three pets that receive free veterinary treatment from PDSA are funded from gifts in wills and for a limited time PDSA is offering a Free Will-writing service to over 50’s.

Vet Nurse Christopher adds: “Donations such as gifts in wills fund our operations, so we hope local residents will continue to support our work caring for local sick and injured pets by considering leaving a gift in their will.”

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