PDSA vets save Rocky after swallowing stick

Rocky, a nine-month-old crossbreed puppy, was saved by our vets after he swallowed a stick that was half the length of his body.

Rocky was suffering from severe sickness. When his worried owner, Joanna, called Southampton PDSA Pet Hospital, vets recommended he should be admitted as an emergency.

Owner Joanna said: “Rocky was being sick repeatedly and couldn’t keep any food down. I was so worried, and I had no idea what was wrong. I called PDSA and they told me to bring him straight in.”

Initial investigations left vets suspicious of a foreign object in Rocky’s stomach. His deteriorating condition and continued vomiting meant time was of the essence.

Rocky needed emergency surgery.

PDSA Vet, Zofia Bauman, said: “We knew Rocky was very likely to have eaten something he shouldn’t have to cause his sudden illness. We suspected he had a foreign body in his stomach. But we couldn’t believe our eyes when we discovered the stick during surgery! Given its length and his size, it’s a wonder it hadn’t punctured his vital organs and caused fatal injuries. I’ve never seen anything like it.”

Images showing Rocky recovering after swallowing a stick half the length of his body

After an intense hour-long operation, PDSA vets successfully removed the stick.

Still, Rocky needed close monitoring in the hospital overnight to ensure he remained stable and no internal bleeding occurred.

The following day, he was allowed home with painkillers, on strict rest, and had now beaten all odds to make a full recovery.

Joanna said: “We couldn’t believe he’d managed to swallow a stick that was half the length of his body! We didn’t see it happen and think he must have got hold of it in the garden. I’d encourage everyone to keep sticks well away from their pets to avoid suffering. Our family was heartbroken to see him so unwell. Thankfully, he’s on the mend and feeling better already, and that’s all thanks to PDSA.

“They are wonderful, and I would like to thank the vet team who helped save our little treasure. I think PDSA are the best charity in the world!”

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 Rocky'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 Rocky without your support. Please consider donating today.

Help pets like Rocky

We are doing everything we can to keep our vet services running during this difficult time. But we need your help - now more than ever before.

Your help will save pets like Rocky

Every £1 donated will help us make sure poorly pets get the life-saving treatment they need.

Donate to PDSA

Where to next

Dog friendly-toys

Read our vets' advice on safe toys your dog will love to play with.

Find out more

Sign up to our newsletter

Want to read more stories like Rocky's, keep up with the latest pet wellbeing news, or perhaps you just want to support PDSA? Get your latest PDSA news with our Newsletter.

Sign up today