Puppy needs emergency surgery after swallowing owner's needle and thread

When Emma Stainton’s son’s joggers ripped, she thought she would make do and mend, rather than buying a new pair.

But her quick craft nearly ended in disaster as her springer spaniel puppy Oscar wolfed down the needle and thread while she answered the door.

Emma, from Gainsborough, noticed it was missing when she returned, but didn’t realise it was down to the seven-month-old dog until much later.

After rushing him to the Vets Now in Lincoln, an x-ray confirmed her fears and the pet needed emergency surgery to remove it as there was a risk it could perforate vital organs.

Amazingly, they managed to get the needle out, still with the thread attached.

Council worker Emma, 48, said: ‘I threaded the needle into the trousers and thought I’d moved them safely out of the way.

‘When I went back, it was gone. My son and I had a good old hunt for it. Because Oscar wasn’t anywhere near and was playing around looking perfectly fine, we didn’t think it could be anything to do with him. 

‘He even had his dinner and water without seeming ill.  

‘But after searching everywhere for ages — it really was like looking for a needle in a haystack — we started to worry that he had somehow got hold of it. 

‘He’s our first dog and we really weren’t sure but, unlikely though it seemed, we contacted our insurance company and asked for a vet’s advice. 

‘When the vet phoned quickly, ahead of when the call was scheduled, we started to be concerned that it might be more serious.  

‘Once we explained that we couldn’t find the needle anywhere, the vet said we shouldn’t wait, that we should get Oscar to an emergency vet right away that evening.’

With their normal vets closed, they had to take him to a Vets Now hospital at it is open seven days a week for out-of-hours pet emergencies. 

Senior vet nurse Emma Ward said: ‘We sedated Oscar just enough for us to be able to do an X-ray on him. The needle showed up right away and, luckily for Oscar, it had gone into the stomach. 

Senior vet nurse Emma Ward said: ‘We sedated Oscar just enough for us to be able to do an X-ray on him. The needle showed up right away and, luckily for Oscar, it had gone into the stomach. 

‘We had to operate right away before it had the chance to perforate any other organs in the abdomen.’

Owner Emma went home as Oscar was prepped for surgery.

‘We soon got a call to say what they’d seen on the X-ray and another in the early hours to tell us the surgery had gone well,’ said Emma. 

‘Thankfully, we were able to pick Oscar up in the morning and after a couple of days of being a bit lethargic, he was back to his old self despite the six-inch scar. 

‘It was quite remarkable to see the X-ray and we even got the needle back – still with the thread attached! 

‘It was just so good to have Vets Now on hand when we needed them and couldn’t wait until our own vets opened the following morning.’

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