Dog swallows arrow - and survives

A PLAYFUL puppy has defied medical odds after swallowing a ten-inch wooden arrow and living to tell the tale.Amazingly, five-month-old Summer-June escaped unscathed when the potentially lethal toy avoided all the her vital organs as it lodged in her stomach.

Dave Gooderham

A PLAYFUL puppy has defied medical odds after swallowing a ten-inch wooden arrow and living to tell the tale.

Amazingly, five-month-old Summer-June escaped unscathed when the potentially lethal toy avoided all the her vital organs as it lodged in her stomach.

The pup is thought to have been playing with the arrow when it snapped and she inadvertently swallowed the bigger half. But she was left with only mild discomfort and her condition initially baffled vets and her owners.

However, an x-ray found the arrow, complete with rubber suction pad at the end, enabling experts to carry out a successful operation to remove it.

Simon Culmstock , partner at Long Melford-based Swayne and Partners, said Summer-June had been “incredibly lucky”.

Most Read

He said: “With something like this, you normally find that the sharp, broken end perforates the stomach or gullet and causes massive peritonitis which usually means the puppy will not survive.

“The whole thing is a bit of a mystery. No one knows how it got down the gullet, as it is quite large. Summer-June was very lucky - she has made a marvellous recovery.”

Owner Leanne Heffer, from Haverhill, last night spoke of her relief and praised the work of the Long Melford vets.

She told the EADT: “I was so shocked when the vets told me what was wrong with Summer-June, my mouth just dropped. How she managed to carry on for a few days with an arrow inside her is beyond me - it is a miracle she is still alive.”

The puppy was brought to the vets after she had been sick on a number of occasions and Mr Culmstock admitted there was no clear diagnosis at first.

“She had very non-descript signs so we treated her symptomatically at first,” he said. “The next morning she was still bringing up food and there was some blood in her vomit. Then the x-ray found something abnormal in the stomach although the wooden part of the arrow was undetected.

“When we carried out exploratory surgery, we found a wooden shaft about ten inches long with a rubber suction pad at the end.”

Mr Culmstock said Summer-June's recovery was greatly aided by a new x-ray machine, bought by the business just nine months ago.

Within hours of the successful operation, Summer-June was eating normally again and is now recovering at home with her relieved owner.

FACTFILE

· In January 2001, Kyle, a six-month-old collie-Staffordshire bull terror cross from Leeds, had to have major surgery after swallowing a 15-inch serrated knife.

· Three-month-old Disa, a Staffordshire bull terrier from Rotherham, swallowed a metal tent peg that was almost as long as its body in April 2006.

· In August this year, a leading manufacturer of veterinary X-ray products revealed a number of dogs swallowing strange snacks - from the Labrador with 14 golf balls in his stomach to the boxer found to have swallowed 208 rocks of various sizes.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter