With the 2018 Masters Tournament approaching, Pongo the Dalmatian decided to join in – by swallowing a golf ball.
When the four-year-old was brought to the PDSA pet hospital in Edinburgh, after owner Jack Harvey had noticed blood in his urine, the staff assumed it might be caused by bladder stones, a common condition in the breed. However, the x-ray told a different story.
PDSA vet Gemma Hepner said, “We were primarily looking at the bladder, but the x-ray captured his stomach too – we could clearly see a foreign body in there.
“We knew it was a ball of some kind by the shape but couldn’t tell exactly what type. It was too big for him to pass and there was a real risk it could cause a fatal blockage in his stomach or his intestines if it were to move, so we had to operate to remove it.”
Pongo’s owner Jack was stunned when the vets told him what the problem was.
“I often walk him by a local golf course and he likes to play with the stray golf balls, but I’ve never seen him swallow one!” he said. “It was a complete shock when PDSA told me what they had pulled out of his stomach.”
Pongo was able to go home that same day, and was put on antibiotics to treat the urinary tract infection that had caused blood in is urine in the first place.
Gemma said, “The blood in his urine was related to the urinary infection, so the golf ball wasn’t actually causing him any problems at that moment. It could have been there a day or two, or it may have been rolling around in there for weeks, but it could definitely had led to disaster so it’s lucky we x-rayed him when we did.”
Jack said that he’d keep the golf ball as a reminder, and that while he planned to watch The Masters over the weekend, his dog had had enough golf for one year.
Images by PDSA.