Dog 'in the ruff' after swallowing golf ball

04 April 2018

Pongo is now out of the woods thanks to PDSA!

A Dalmatian was left feeling well under par after he swallowed a golf ball that could have killed him.

Our vets in Edinburgh were left stunned after an x-ray revealed that Pongo had ‘putt’ away a golf ball he must have found on a walk.

The four-year-old pooch was brought to our Pet Hospital in the city by his worried owner, Jack Harvey, after he noticed blood in his urine.

We initially suspected that Pongo was suffering from bladder stones, a common ailment for Dalmatians, but were left shocked by the results of the x-ray.

PDSA 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.”

Jack (24) of Muirhouse, was gobsmacked when he learned what had happened.

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.”

Pongo’s surgery went well and he was allowed to go home the same day. He was also put on antibiotics to treat an underlying urinary tract infection.

Vet Gemma added: “The blood in his urine was related to the urinary infection, so the golf ball wasn’t actually causing him any problems at that moment.

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

Jack said he was incredibly grateful to our vets for the treatment Pongo received and that he now keeps a closer eye on him so he doesn’t gobble up anything else he shouldn’t.

He said: “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.”

Our vets see many cases of pets eating unusual objects every year, which in some circumstances can be fatal if they cause a blockage in the intestines. There is a name for this type of behaviour where pets eat strange objects – known as pica. Pets, especially puppies and younger dogs, like to use their mouth to investigate objects as well as to eat. Sometimes a pet will swallow an item by mistake, even though they had only meant to investigate it. Owners are advised to speak to their vet for advice as soon as possible if they suspect their pet has eaten something they shouldn’t have.

For more pet health advice visit PDSA's pet health articles.


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