Willow the puppy needed life-saving surgery at PDSA after swallowing a bone.

Nine-month-old crossbreed puppy, Willow, defied the odds and bounced back after emergency surgery to remove large bone fragments wedged in her throat and stomach.

The puppy landed herself in a spot of bother after getting her paws on a bone and swallowing it. Thankfully, PDSA vets at Derby PDSA Pet Hospital helped Willow during her time of need, and thankfully, she is now well on the road to recovery.

Willow’s owner, Angela, a 23-year-old mum of two from Derbyshire, is “very thankful” to PDSA vets after they performed life-saving surgery on her precious pup.

She explained: “I noticed that Willow wasn’t eating or drinking. She was breathing very heavily and was also being sick. We were concerned she may have been struggling because it was a very hot day outside, but when she was examined by one of the PDSA vets, they were able to rule out heatstroke.

“Instead, they were worried Willow could have swallowed something which had caused a blockage, so she was admitted for further investigations. She had an X-ray, which showed she had eaten a bone and pieces were stuck in her oesophagus (food pipe) and stomach – we couldn’t believe it!

“The vet said she would need a big operation to remove the bone pieces, which was terrifying. I’ve grown up with family dogs all my life, but Willow is the first dog that is really mine. I thought that I was going to lose her at just nine months old.

“I found it very difficult when I knew she was having her surgery, but it was necessary as she couldn’t survive with pieces of bone stuck where they were. I kept myself distracted looking after the kids and waited to hear from the Pet Hospital.”

Derby PDSA Pet Hospital Leader, Sally Frith, said: “A large piece of bone was found in Willow’s oesophagus and another part of bone in her stomach. This meant the surgeon had to operate on her oesophagus and stomach to remove the bones – a major surgery, especially for a puppy. The surgery was a complete success, and after a few days in our Pet Hospital with our team’s expert care, alongside pain relief and antibiotics, Willow was able to go home.”

The total cost of Willow’s treatment came to over £1,800 – an amount Angela says she would have struggled to afford had she not been eligible for treatment at PDSA.

She added: “I knew Willow had been digging in the garden, but I had no idea there was a possibility she might have found something like a bone. It’s the first time I’ve ever used PDSA, and I’m so grateful to everyone who works there and those who support the charity. Willow probably wouldn’t be here today if it wasn’t for PDSA.”

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

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