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Dog has emergency surgery after eating 16 golf balls

By Abigail Nicholson

A greedy boxer dog was rushed in for emergency surgery after swallowing 16 golf balls while at home.

David Warren from Aintree noticed his two-year-old dog Ben was vomiting, losing weight, and had lost his appetite so took him to Northwest Veterinary Specialists (NWVS) in Runcorn, Cheshire. NWVS’s internal medicine specialist Chantal Rosa and surgery resident Dylan Payne quickly realised why the dog was unwell and told David.

David said he 'couldn't believe it' when he heard his dog had swallowed 16 golf balls, but recalled seeing a ball in a puddle of vomit at home.

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He said: "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! Thankfully Ben’s bounced back well."

Ben the Boxer is on the mend after surgery at Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Runcorn to remove an amazing 16 golf balls from his stomach (SWNS)

Dylan said the surgery they completed was 'unique', and added: "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. 16 is a lot, even for a boxer. The operation was a complete success and Ben is back at home doing very well and gaining weight.”

David’s now working hard to make sure there’s no repetition but admits Ben is not making it easy. He said: “I have tried to encourage him 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. That’s him to a tee.

Ben the Boxer is on the mend after surgery at Northwest Veterinary Specialists in Runcorn to remove an amazing 16 golf balls from his stomach (SWNS)

"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?

"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 can see the funny side of it all now but at the time it was a very serious situation and no laughing matter."

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