A Merseyside dog needed urgent surgery after a strange ‘blockage’ was found in his stomach.
Stray balls often roll into the garden of Ben the Boxer and his owner David Warren, as the pair live next to a golf course.
But, unbeknownst to David, Ben had been routinely snacking on them.
The two-year-old dog was rushed into surgery after a vet discovered the cluster of 4cm-wide balls in his stomach.
David, 70, said his beloved pet had seeded ‘different’ around three months ago.
The grandfather-of-six said: ‘I had become concerned because Ben had been off his food, had lost weight and then he started being sick.
‘One day he’d been sick and there was a golf ball in it but I never thought for a minute it was because he’d eaten it.
‘I just thought it was there because we live next to a golf course and he’d been playing with the ball.
‘I was horrified when the vets told me about the blockage in his stomach.
‘They said it was golf balls and I thought he must have swallowed one or two but they said’ No, he’s swallowed 16 ‘.
‘I couldn’t believe it. I’m not a golfer so these were stray balls from the driving range that he’d found and eaten, which shows how good the local golfers are. ‘
Ben was taken to a vet in Runcorn, Cheshire, where they underwent a two-hour operation.
Dylan Payne, a surgeon at Northwest Veterinary Specialists, said: ‘We performed an endoscopy of the stomach which revealed a large blockage due to golf balls – lots of golf balls.
‘Ben’s stomach was very full so we needed to carry out an urgent surgery to open the stomach to allow us to remove the balls.
‘It’s fairly routine, low risk surgery but the removal of so many golf balls is unique. Sixteen is a lot, even for a Boxer. ‘
Ben is now back home and has bounced back to full health following the scare.
David is now teaching the pup to Chase after sticks and to play with balls of a more healthy size.
He added: ‘The vets at Northwest were brilliant and looked after him so well and they really made me chuckle when they offered me the bag of balls to take home after the operation.
‘I have tried to encourage Ben to play with tennis balls instead, the ones you attach and throw from a stick for the dog to Chase – but Ben chewed the stick to pieces.
‘I’m going to have to buy some footballs for him to play with now, as he can’t possibly swallow something that size, can he?’
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