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Bouncy Ball 'Hides' in Dog's Stomach for up to Two Years

07 July 2014
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UK - A Sunderland dog suffering from a mysterious illness has been cured after PDSA vets removed a ball from her stomach - which is believed to have been hiding there for two years.

Border Terrier Trixie swallowed the ball while playing in the garden at her owner Melanie Pounder’s home in High Barns back in 2011.

X-ray showing the ball in Trixie's stomach
X-ray showing the ball in Trixie's stomach

Obviously concerned for her pet pooch’s welfare, Melanie took her to a private vet practice but no trace of the ball was found, as they assumed it had been passed and she wasn’t showing any problematic symptoms.

More recently however, Trixie began being sick, despite appearing fit and healthy. Melanie took her to PDSA’s pet hospital, the Reay Hudson Centre, in Hepworth Road, to try and solve the mystery.

Emma Holt, PDSA vet, said an X-ray revealed the cause of the problem: “Trixie was well in herself, but we knew that something wasn’t right. So we took an X-ray and spotted a small object in her abdomen, which looked suspicious. Exploratory surgery was carried out, and we soon discovered it was a bouncy ball.

“I’ve seen a few strange cases during my time as a vet, but never something like this where a foreign body has just been hiding away for so long before causing a problem.”

Emma said Trixie was fortunate the ball had not moved to her intestines, where it could have caused a fatal blockage. She also warned that owners should take special care when selecting the size of balls, for their dogs to play with, as ones that are too small can cause choking or swallowing.

Owner Melanie says she is extremely grateful to PDSA and delighted that Trixie has made a full recovery:

“When it turned out to be the ball, I couldn’t believe it – we just assumed Trixie had passed it through her system two years ago. To think it’s been there the whole time is just incredible! I’m so grateful to PDSA for helping Trixie to get well again, as I love her to bits and we would be lost without her.

“I’m now very careful about which toys Trixie plays with, and I make sure she only has ones that are too big to swallow.”

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