Dog needs surgery after swallowing golf ball on Edinburgh walk

PDSA of vet Gemma Hepner with Pongo the Dalmatian, who needed a life-saving operation after swallowing a golf ball on a walk close to an Edinburgh course
PDSA of vet Gemma Hepner with Pongo the Dalmatian, who needed a life-saving operation after swallowing a golf ball on a walk close to an Edinburgh course
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A dog needed life-saving surgery in Edinburgh after swallowing a golf ball he picked up on a walk near his local course.

Dalmatian Pongo was taken to the vet with a urine infection when an X-ray revealed a bigger problem in his stomach.

PDSA of vet Gemma Hepner and owner Jack Harvey with Pongo the Dalmatian. Picture: PA

PDSA of vet Gemma Hepner and owner Jack Harvey with Pongo the Dalmatian. Picture: PA

PDSA Vets in Edinburgh initially suspected Pongo, who lives in Muirhouse, was suffering from bladder stones – a common ailment for Dalmatians.

Vet Gemma Hepner said: “We were primarily looking at the bladder, but the X-ray captured his stomach too. We could clearly see a foreign body in there.

“We knew it was a ball of some kind by the shape, but couldn’t tell exactly what type. It was too big for him to pass and there was a real risk it could cause a fatal blockage in his stomach or his intestines if it were to move, so we had to operate to remove it.

“It could have been there a day or two or it may have been rolling around in there for weeks, but it could definitely have led to disaster, so it’s lucky we X-rayed him when we did.”

X-ray showing a golf ball found in the stomach of Pongo the Dalmatian. Picture: PA

X-ray showing a golf ball found in the stomach of Pongo the Dalmatian. Picture: PA

Pongo’s owner Jack Harvey, also from Muirhouse, was shocked by the discovery.

He said: “I often walk him by a local golf course and he likes to play with the stray golf balls, but I’ve never seen him swallow one.

“It was a complete shock when PDSA told me what they had pulled out of his stomach.”

Mr Harvey added: “I’ve still got the golf ball he swallowed as a reminder and hopefully he’s learned his lesson. I’m planning on watching The Masters this weekend, but I think Pongo’s had more than enough golf for one year.”

PDSA said it handles many cases of pets eating unusual objects, with the behaviour known as ‘pica’ where pets, especially puppies and younger dogs, use their mouth to investigate objects that can be swallowed by mistake.

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