A LOVABLE pet had a lucky escape after she ate a discarded piece of food while out on a walk.
Four-year-old springer spaniel, Smudge, was rushed to the vets after her pet-loving owners found her collapsed at home.
Specialists acted immediately, and upon closer examination found a core from a corn cob lodged in the pooch’s intestine.
Her mortified owners Ian and Carole Dunn were told to expect the worst as Smudge underwent risky surgery to remove the core.
Fortunately the pet survived but Ian, 67, and Carole, 66, are now warning people of the dangers of throwing away unwanted food.
“It was such a worrying time,” said Ian, a semi-retired driving instructor.
“We love her to bits and didn’t want to lose her, we were told to expect the worst.”
The couple, who are parents to Phil, 47, Anthony, 45, and Nick, 40 and live in Wisbech Close, in the Fens area of Hartlepool, also own seven-year old springer spaniel, Mabel.
They said Smudge had eaten the core while out walking in woodland near to the entrance to Greatham village.
They didn’t realise at the time and just thought their pet was suffering with a stomach bug.
But two days later they found Smudge collapsed and was struggling to move. They rushed her to Bridge Veterinary Centre, in Hartlepool.
“She was examined and we were told to take her straight to the vet hospital, in Middlesbrough,” added Ian, also a granddad-of-nine.
“There we were told it was a very delicate operation they had to perform.”
Smudge survived the surgery, and is now back at home recovering.
But Ian is now warning dog owners to be wary and wants to highlight the dangers of throwing food away.
He added: “If people are having barbecues or whatever I just want them to think before they throw food over the wall or just throw it away.
“As proven here, it can be very dangerous for animals and they don’t know any better.
“We have had to have Smudge on a special diet over the last couple of weeks and we are just starting to take her out for walks again now.
“I am very wary and I am keeping her on the lead to start with but that’s not good for her, she will want to be running around.”
As well as praising the “fantastic” work of the vets, Ian and Carole also thanked staff at Pets At Home, in Hartlepool.
They visited the store for some advice on nutrition after the incident, and were given expert information and £25 worth of food free of charge.
“That really did amaze us,” said Ian.
“It was such a generous act. The staff were so helpful, and it really is much appreciated.”