Dog Survives Because Ball Stuck In Its Throat Had A Hole In The Middle
An adorable pooch is lucky to be alive after he swallowed a plastic ball that got completely lodged in his throat.
Scout, a border collie, only survived because the bright yellow spiked toy he swallowed had a hole right through the centre of it which allowed enough air to get through his windpipe and stopped him from suffocated.
Incredible footage shows the toy wedged at the back of Scout's mouth as he pants, struggling to get enough air in.
Thankfully, staff at the Vets Now Gateshead pet emergency clinic were quickly able to see how serious poor Scout's predicament was and immediately set to work to removing the toy.
The five-year-old dog, who was understandably distressed, was given a sedative so vets could carry out a thorough examination.
He was then given an anaesthetic so the emergency team could remove the toy without causing any unnecessary pain.
Emergency vet Sarah Douglass was able to expertly use a tiny pair of forceps to slowly and gently prise the ball forward, millimetre by millimetre, until she could safely remove it.
Scout's larynx was then given the once over with Sarah delighted to find there was no damage other than some slight swelling and inflammation.
Due to coronavirus restrictions, Scout's anxious owner Margaret Hewett and her partner Les had to wait outside the clinic in their car.
However, Sarah ensured they received regular updates about Scout's progress and were delighted when they were told the ball had been removed and the dog was breathing fine again.
Margaret, from South Shields, said: "The day it happened everything seemed fine. We were just back from a walk and Scout was playing with the ball in Les's back garden like he had hundreds of times before.
"Suddenly he started retching and we could see that he was in real distress. The toy was no longer in sight and Les was sure he must have swallowed it.
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"I tried to look into Scout's mouth, but he was so upset he wouldn't let me. We knew we needed a vet quickly but it was a Sunday and a lot of places were closed.
"To our huge relief Vets Now were open and the staff were brilliant - and very reassuring which is just what we needed.
"Scout went off with Sarah the vet and he seemed to sense straightway that she was there to help him.
"At the end of it all, they brought Scout back out to us. He was a bit wobbly and obviously very tired but apart from that he was okay.
"We got him home and he just laid down for a long sleep - feeling very sorry for himself.
"The ball was part of a rope toy and the hole Scout breathed through was where the rope used to be.
"As a dog owner and dog lover you just would never know that an innocent-looking toy like that could be so dangerous.
"We've had a very lucky escape and Scout definitely won't ever be playing with anything smaller than a tennis ball again."
Senior vet nurse Ashley Wemple added: "Time really is of the essence in this sort of situation. Poor Scout really was very distressed and it was heartbreaking to see him panting and gasping for air.
"I'm just relieved we were able to help - and what Margaret says about these toys is totally right.
"They look deceptively innocent and dogs can play with them for days on end with no problem - but if they are swallowed they can be a serious threat to life.
"So the safest thing to do really is to avoid letting your dog play with any toy which they might be able to swallow by mistake."
Featured Image Credit: Vets Now
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