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29 April 2013, 17:10
A nine-month-old puppy was rushed to an animal hospital in Middlesbrough after swallowing a 26-inch metal chain dog leash.
His owner Jackie Stephenson said:
"I was in bed ill at the time, when my partner Des came running upstairs and told me that Buster had swallowed his lead - a metal chain measuring over two feet long.''
Des had been on the phone when Buster reached up and mischievously stole his lead.
By the time he had caught up with him he saw the end of the chain slip down Buster's throat.
38 year old Jackie, from Middlesbrough, said:
"At first I didn't believe it, I ran around turning the house upside down looking for the chain. I didn't think there was any way that he could do that.
Plus he's always been such a good puppy and never tried to eat anything before.''
After searching high and low, Jackie realised her pooch must have swallowed the chain as it was nowhere to be found.
Despite not showing any signs of illness, Jackie took Buster to the PDSA PetAid hospital, on Acklam Road, to be checked over.
PDSA veterinary surgeon, Mary Tonge, said:
"We examined Buster's stomach and couldn't feel anything unusual.
It wasn't until we x-rayed him that we saw the true picture.
He must have swallowed the chain in one go, it was just lying in his stomach and luckily it hadn't passed into his intestines - that would have been extremely painful and potentially deadly.''
PDSA's vet team rushed Buster into the operating theatre to remove the chain by surgically removing it from his stomach.
"We were so relieved to be able to come and collect him the next day.
The vets were fantastic, and being out of work, I don't know how we could have paid for his treatment if Middlesbrough PDSA hadn't been there.''
Middlesbrough PDSA PetAid hospital provides free veterinary treatment to the sick and injured pets of local people in need.