Milo overcomes a lethal litter drama

A three-year-old dog called Milo received life-saving surgery to retrieve a face mask from his stomach.

Milo was on a walk with his owners, the Hammerton family, when they spotted him eating a face mask that had gotten tangled around a bone.

They were able to get Milo to drop the bone but, despite many attempts, could not stop him from swallowing the face mask. Becky Hammerton (27), a PhD student and carer for her parents, phoned her local PDSA Pet Hospital and was asked to bring Milo in to be seen by a vet immediately.

Image of Milo next to the mask that he had swallowed

Becky’s beloved family pet was examined and X-rayed by the veterinary team. 

Aoife Clancy, a Senior Vet at PDSA, said: “The X-ray showed that the metal nose wire attached to the mask was in Milo’s stomach. We didn’t want to induce vomiting as there was a risk that the wire would pierce his stomach or oesophagus. But as the mask didn’t seem to be passing naturally, Milo needed surgery to remove it immediately as it could cause potentially fatal complications.

“Thankfully, the life-saving operation to remove the mask was a success, and Milo was discharged the next day to recover at home.”

Becky, who has set up a fundraiser in recognition of Milo’s care, said: “Milo was treated quickly and the vet team at PDSA were fantastic, helpful and incredibly caring. We’re so relieved he has made a full recovery, thanks to the whole team.

“If PDSA wasn’t there to help us, I don’t know what we would have done. I’m a PhD student and a carer for my parents, working two zero-hour contract jobs to help fund my studies and support my family (including Milo). The benefits and the cost-of-living payment my parents have received barely pays for the essentials – it’s just the tip of the iceberg.

“We’re money-savvy when it comes to Milo’s care, buying his food in bulk and using coupon vouchers where possible, but it would be really difficult for us to afford unexpected vet bills if we didn’t have PDSA to turn to.

“Without the charity’s help, we would have really struggled to provide Milo with the life-saving treatment he desperately needed. Milo means the world to us, so we would go without or sell our possessions if it meant he got the treatment he needed; it’s a blessing that PDSA is there to help struggling families like ours in these tough times.”

PDSA is the UK’s leading veterinary charity. Through our 48 Pet Hospitals and Pet Care scheme, we save the lives of poorly pets who would otherwise be left untreated.

Every year, we helped over 388,000 pets. Without us, emergency cases like Milo's would be left untreated and many pets could lose their lives or be separated from families who love them.

We wouldn’t be here for dogs like Milo without your support. Please consider donating today.

Give pets like Milo a fighting chance

Pets who have been there for us during the pandemic deserve somewhere to turn when they need life-saving treatment.

Your help will save pets like Milo

Every £1 donated will help us make sure sick and injured pets get the treatment they desperately need.

Donate to PDSA

Where to next

Poorly pet?

Get vet-approved advice on common symptoms, conditions and medications for pets on our Pet Health Hub.

Visit the hub

Get a free Pet First Aid guide

Our vets have put together a special Pet First Aid guide with handy tips, advice and steps to follow if you ever find yourself in an emergency situation where your pet is in danger.

Find out more