Belfast Telegraph

Friday 21 November 2014

Golf balls dog left feeling rough

Vet Kath Vandamme holding an X-ray showing golf balls inside doberman Azar (John Hipkiss/PDSA/PA)
Vet Kath Vandamme holding an X-ray showing golf balls inside doberman Azar (John Hipkiss/PDSA/PA)

A dog was left feeling under par after swallowing three golf balls which almost killed him.

Doberman Azar had owner Louise Powis stumped when he suddenly lost weight and became severely ill.

Vets were stunned when an X-ray revealed he had gobbled up the three balls.

The six-year-old pet was lucky to survive emergency surgery earlier this year to retrieve the objects, veterinary charity PDSA said. Two of the balls had moved from the dog's stomach into his small intestine, putting him at risk of rupturing intestines or developing peritonitis, a potentially fatal inflammation of the abdomen's lining.

Azar's lucky escape came to light as the world's best golfers prepare to tee up for this year's Open Championship at Muirfield, East Lothian, on Thursday.

PDSA vet Kath Vandamme said: "Azar was very poorly when he was admitted and could barely stand, but there was nothing obvious to determine what was causing his illness.

"We put Azar on a drip and took some X-rays of his abdomen, and when I saw the X-ray I could not believe it. It was really unusual because it wasn't just one golf ball but three. I don't know how he managed to do it. The wall of the intestine was severely bruised and, due to the position of the obstruction, Azar's surgery was a big risk but it was our only option. We had to tell Louise that it was touch and go whether he would even survive the operation."

Ms Powis, 27, of Nuneaton, Warwickshire, said Azar is recovering well after the operation at the charity's pet hospital in Coventry.

"It was a very worrying time and the kids were really scared as well, as they adore him," the mother of three said. "Thankfully everything went well and only a few weeks later he was back to his old self."

She said the family were still mystified about where their pet had found the balls. She said: "We think it was in a field near us where we let him off his lead during walks but we're not sure. I'm so grateful to PDSA for saving his life."

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