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Pets: Ask the vet

PUBLISHED: 13:43 26 August 2016 | UPDATED: 13:43 26 August 2016

Ask the vet

Ask the vet


Minnie the labrador takes the bait and has a lucky escape. Why you need to be careful walking your dog on the beach

Ask the vetAsk the vet

Like any good Labrador worth her salt, Minnie was an avid scavenger and the beach at Holland-on-Sea on a sunny day proved the ideal setting for her favourite pastime. Unfortunately for Minnie, dangers lurked in the sand.

In no time at all she had found a delicious piece of decomposing bait on washed-up fishing tackle and had swallowed the line, complete with hook.

Ask the vetAsk the vet

Her owner Joe, following the advice of fellow dog walkers tied the fishing line to her collar to prevent the hook passing down any further and took her immediately to their local veterinary practice in Clacton. X-rays were taken which confirmed that the fish-hook had lodged in her oesophagus at the base of her neck – a very dangerous area for safe removal.

It was at this point that Emma and Joe were informed that they would need to take Minnie to Christchurch Veterinary Referrals, where specialist equipment and expertise would be on hand to retrieve the fish hook from such a delicate area.

The hook was then successfully and safely retrieved with endoscopic guidance and surgery at CVR. Emma says the care Minnie received was outstanding from start to finish.

Ask the vetAsk the vet

“She spent three nights away from us and we were regularly updated with her progress. We cannot thank all the lovely staff at Christchurch enough for saving our beautiful dog.” Minnie has since made a full recovery from her ordeal.

Fish hooks are an ever present cause for concern on beaches where we walk our dogs. The quick action of Joe in tying the fishing line to Minnie’s collar and, perhaps more importantly, not pulling on the line, prevented more serious damage.

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