A Plymouth pooch who swallowed a toy train has survived thanks to emergency surgery by vet charity PDSA.
Nine-year-old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Cyril, got his paws on a ‘Clarabel’ toy – the famous character from Thomas the Tank Engine at the family home in Torpoint.
The family realised something was wrong when their beloved pet stopped eating and started vomiting. Worried owner Lesley Mellor (40) rushed him in to Plymouth PDSA Pet Hospital, where x-rays revealed the cause of poor Cyril’s plight.
He was taken straight to the operating theatre, where PDSA vet David Jones carried out the life-saving surgery.
David said: “Whenever a dog swallows a foreign object, there is a very real risk of a blockage in the intestines, which could be fatal. So once we’d x-rayed Cyril we took him straight into theatre to operate. Surgery like this is very risky, because you never know what you might find, or what damage the object might have caused.”
Once the toy train carriage was removed, Cyril quickly recovered and was well enough to return home to Lesley and her son, Cameron, the next day.
Lesley added: “We were really worried about Cyril because he was so poorly, and needed a big operation. But I knew he was in the best place and would be taken care of. We were all relieved when we received the phone call to say the operation had gone well. I can’t thank PDSA enough for getting Cyril back home to his family.”
Every year, PDSA vets see hundreds of dogs who have eaten things they shouldn’t, including golf balls, tent pegs, rubber ducks and even knives, as vet David explained:
“As well as using their mouths to eat, dogs also use them to investigate objects. But in doing so they can swallow an item by mistake. This behaviour is known as ‘pica’ and can have disastrous consequences, which is why it’s important to keep small items away from hungry dogs.
“Cyril is just one of the lucky pets to benefit from PDSA’s emergency service which has received generous funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery. Thanks to their support we’re able to provide thousands of life-saving treatments across the UK.”