A pet owner has warned about the dangers of small festive decorations after her dog ate a 3cm piece of metal in the shape of a Christmas tree.
Diane Sullivan was distraught when her Staffordshire bull terrier Milly swallowed the object after it fell on the floor with some biscuits.
X-rays showed that the decoration was in her stomach, and vets were concerned its sharp edges could cause severe internal damage.
In a bid to protect Milly's chest, stomach and intestines, an operation to remove the tree was carried out at Gillingham PetAid Hospital run by veterinary charity PDSA.
Vet Aoife McCormack said: "When Milly was brought in she was very poorly and suffering with a painful abdomen.
"We could see the decoration very clearly on the X-ray and decided emergency surgery was needed to remove it from Milly's stomach."
Ms Sullivan, 49, from Minster-on-Sea in Sheppey, Kent, said she was making Christmas cards with her two-year-old grandson when the incident happened last December.
"I was making all the cards on the table and my grandson put his little hand out and knocked some biscuits and the Christmas tree on the floor," she said.
"Milly didn't need a second invitation and she swallowed the lot up like a vacuum cleaner. I knew straight away that she had swallowed it but as it was so very small, I thought nature would take its course. But her condition suddenly deteriorated so I took her to PDSA for their help."
Milly went on to make a full recovery.
Ms Sullivan, who also owns another dog, a Samoyed called Baz, said she now takes more care with small objects in the home that could be swallowed by her pets.
"I was so worried about Milly, it really scared the living daylights out of me," she said.
"I can't thank the vets and nurses at PDSA enough for everything they've done, as without them Milly might not be here today."
PDSA advises all pet owners to consult their vet immediately if they suspect their animal has swallowed a foreign object.