Dog eats football

by Leanne Thompson on March 17, 2010

Some dogs are known for eating anything that they find on the floor. It makes it difficult being a dog owner knowing that you have to be careful of what you leave lying around, and remember to pick up everything that you drop. However, you don’t expect to have to pick up large objects, such as a football for example.

One East Dunbartonshire man wished he had this week when his dog ate a football, and unsurprisingly became unwell following the rather leathery meal.

Bracken, a black Labrador belonging to John Grant from East Dunbartonshire, ate the football while out in the park. Bracken then started to cough as the football disagreed with him. John rushed the Labrador to Glasgow’s Small Animal Hospital, where an x-ray showed just how close the dog was to dying as the football was pressed up against his heart.

The ball, which had become deflated when the dog ate it (obviously) measured around 12cm. The vets immediately performed surgery on the dog to save his life.

70 year old Mr Grant commented:

I don’t know where he picked it up, though it may have been in the park in the long grass.

He is quite inquisitive and noisy and boisterous. He eats anything – plastic bottles, golf balls, stones and sticks.

He has been fine since the operation but it was quite traumatic at the time.

Bracken has had to have two operations as a result of eating the football, the first one last spring and then a second one this January in order to fix a congenital abnormality.

Damian Chase is a veterinary surgeon who assisted with the surgery. He added:

Bracken had been fine and his stomach had been gradually moving in and out from this area in his chest, but because he had eaten this toy football it got stuck up there.

Part of the stomach moved and was sitting next to his heart with the football in it.

We were surprised because when we did the x-ray and scan we couldn’t tell what it was.

He is a very lucky dog. He would have died without the operation.

The animal hospital in Glasgow has seen many cases over the years where dogs have been admitted having swallowed some strange items. Damian had some wise words for dog owners whose dogs are known to pick up items however:

But if you know your dog is a scavenger he needs to be under control, even on a lead.

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