A hungry hound needed life-saving surgery after a savoury snack left her with a stomach full of skewers.
Tilly, a rescue dog who has been with her family for six years, bit off more than she could chew when she wolfed down six chicken satay snacks, including the wooden skewers.
The hungry hound had to be rushed to vets for an operation after pinching the treats while owner Liz Dunn’s back was momentarily turned.
It was only half an hour later, when Liz, from Ashbrooke, Sunderland, found the packet with six chicken skewers missing, that she realised Tilly must have eaten them as her pet was showing no ill effects.
The worried owner rushed the dog to Westway Veterinary Group’s main hospital on West Road, Newcastle, where she underwent an operation to remove the wooden skewer sticks from her stomach.
Liz - who is married to Phil, both 35, and parents to Amelia, five, and Isaac, two - called for help from her father-in-law Ian Dunn, 67, who often looks after the mongrel with wife Linda, 66, from Washington.
Liz said: “She’s very much a family dog, she adores the kids and they adore her.
“She just fits into our life and we had her before we had the children, and she’s quite fun-loving, but hates cats with a passion, and she’s a demon when food is concerned.
“If she gets near any food, she goes for it.
“We know that when we got her, she had been living on the streets and had to fend for herself, so she still has that scavenger instinct.”
Liz had returned home with food shopping and had put two of the chicken sticks in a bag to send with her son to his swimming session with his grandparents, pushing the rest to the back of the counter while she saw him off.
But Tilly climbed onto the high counter and ate the food, with Liz realising what had happened when she found the empty pack and four of the sticks around the house.
“I panicked and called Phil, then my father-in-law, who hotfooted it back, who took her to the vets in Newcastle.
“She had life-saving surgery, but to look at her she was fine.
“They x-rayed her, but because they were wooden stick, they couldn’t see what was going on, so they had to open her up.
“The sticks still had the chicken on them.
“She was kept in for 24 hours and then went to my in-laws to convalesce.
“You would never know it had happened now. “We already had a lockable bin, we always close the kitchen door behind is, food is always put straight in the fridge and there’s a child gate, which is always shut especially if the kids are having a snack.
“I don’t think we could do a single thing more.
“But on this occasion, I had my back turned for seconds.”
Liz, a chat moderator for Tombola, and Phil, a solicitor for DWF, hope other pet owners will learn of the dangers of skewers and have sent their thanks to the vets who helped save their beloved pet.
Vet Kate Pounder said: “The main danger to Tilly was that she could have perforated her stomach and that would have risked peritonitis, which can be fatal.
“This was a complete accident, but it worth reminding owners to be extra cautious over the summer when food is being prepared.
“Kebab skewers pose a huge risk as dogs can suffer terrible injuries or even swallow them. They can also get injured or become ill if they eat cooked bones, tin foil that food is wrapped in, or burn themselves trying to get red-hot food from the barbecue.
“Corn on the cob is a common foreign body we have to remove from dogs as they can’t digest the core.”