Rescue dog lucky to avoid major surgery after swallowing fish hook | TeamDogs

Rescue dog lucky to avoid major surgery after swallowing fish hook

Her owner suspects the hook could have been left deliberately

Danielle Elton

Posted 4 months ago ago

A poor pup was lucky to avoid major surgery after swallowing a fish hook while out walking.

One-year-old Runa had been out with her owners when the hook became lodged in her mouth.

The rescue dog, originally from Romania, had to be rushed to the vets after her worried owners struggled to remove it.

They’re now warning other dog walkers to be wary, as they believe the hook could have been left there deliberately.

Although vets say it’s not that common, this incident comes less that 12 months after a greyhound was treated at the same practice for the same thing.

Runa’s owner Angus said: “We were just out on our regular walk by the marshlands where we live when Runa became really interested in something on a fence. I tried to get her to come away, but she was really interested in what she’d found.

“She started to eat it and so I ran over to her to try and get it off her, but she wouldn’t spit it out, so I tried to get it out of her mouth.”

As he tried to remove the hook, Runa was quickly becoming more distressed.

He added: “When I started pulling it, I couldn’t tell what it was. At first, I thought it was a frog, but then Runa started yelping and she was panicking. She started convulsing and she was choking.

“When I looked inside Runa’s mouth, I thought I could see a bone sticking up. She was really distressed, and I tried to pull it out but it wouldn’t budge. I stopped pulling but she was still choking, so I tried again and this time blood came flowing out.”

His girlfriend also tried to remove the hook but she couldn’t. It was at this point that they realised just how serious the situation was and rushed her to the vets.

Runa was treated by Olivia Lancaster, a veterinary surgeon at Vale Vets Portishead, a My Family Vets practice.

She said: “Runa was brought in as an emergency and when we examined her, we found a large fish hook embedded in the centre of her tongue. We couldn’t remove the hook whilst Runa was conscious, so she was anaesthetised and the hook was removed.” 

Once Runa was under anaesthetic, the vet was able to assess the extent of the injury.

Olivia added: “Surprisingly there was minimal damage to her mouth, but Runa was given a course of pain relief and antibiotics to keep her comfortable and prevent infection.

“Runa recovered quickly from her anaesthetic and was walking about and wagging her tail within half an hour.”

Although not something she sees all that often, Olivia did warn there has been an increase in incidents.

“Fortunately, this is not a common occurrence, although it is becoming more frequent, mainly because there is often bait attached to discarded fish hooks, which dogs find enticing,” said the concerned vet.

“Runa was one of the luckier dogs, as sometimes the fish hooks can be swallowed and become lodged, requiring emergency surgery to remove.”  

Angus echoed Olivia’s concerns, and wants to make other dog owners aware of the hazard. 

“I’d like people to know that it's a danger and there could be somewhere out there deliberately looking to hurt dogs,” urged Angus.

Thanks to the couple’s quick thinking and the team at Vale Vets Portishead, Runa was able to come home the same day. 

“Everyone at Vale Vets Portishead was brilliant. They met us at the door of the surgery and made the whole process easier,” said Angus.

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