Manchester

Emergency op for tinsel-eating German Shepherd

Benji Image copyright Vets Now
Image caption Vets said the unfortunate meal could have proved fatal

It was a nightmare before Christmas for Benji the German shepherd, who swallowed his body length in festive tinsel and ended up needing surgery.

The unlucky pooch wolfed down the shiny material before owner Olivia Mullen could decorate her tree.

The 80cm (31in) length of tinsel became tangled in the pet's stomach and vets said it could have proved fatal.

Ms Mullen, 24, from Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester, said Benji was recovering well.

She said: "This is the first time he's ever done anything like this. He doesn't even go after shoes or toys, so it was a total surprise.

"The tree wasn't up yet and he had actually gone rooting through a box. I was working and my mum called me to say he had eaten some tinsel.

"The fact that Benji had never had any interest in chewing things before just goes to show that you can never be complacent and always need to be vigilant."

Image copyright Vets Now
Image caption The 80cm length of tinsel could be clearly seen in an x-ray

The pet was treated at an emergency pet hospital in Manchester, where an X-ray revealed the tinsel twisted up inside his abdomen.

David Owen, one of the vets at the Vets Now practice, said tinsel could cause severe damage to an animal's intestinal tract.

He added: "Shiny tinsel can be very attractive to both dogs and cats but, like anything stringy, it's extremely dangerous if swallowed.

"If the tinsel anchors itself in the stomach it can't then pass through the intestines and can slowly cut through the tissue like cheese wire."