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Dog lucky to be alive after eating seven golf balls

By East Grinstead Courier  |  Posted: December 12, 2013

  • DOGGONE NUISANCE: Tim Norris and Wilson with the removed golf balls reks20131012D by Kevin Shaw

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A DOG was left feeling under par, after gobbling up a staggering seven golf balls.

Owner Tim Norris rushed his peckish pooch to the vets’ thinking his pet had swallowed a single ball at Royal Ashdown Forest Golf Club.

But an X-ray at Forest Lodge Veterinary Centre, in Forest Row, revealed that was a “fairway” from the scale of the problem for 18-month-old chocolate Labrador Wilson.

Shocked locksmith Mr Norris thinks the dog must have assumed the balls were treats.

He said: “Our dog walker let Wilson off the lead, because it’s a great place to walk dogs, and we think he must have found a basket full of practice balls somewhere near the golf club.

“He probably thought they were dog biscuits.

“Our walker thought Wilson might have eaten a golf ball, so I rushed him to the vets’ the same day and was shocked to find out he’d swallowed seven.

“Chocolate Labradors are incredibly greedy dogs and Wilson is no different. They will eat anything they think is food. I have since bought a muzzle for him, because at 18 months he still has a lot to learn.”

Mr Norris, 50, from Hartfield Road, Forest Row, wants to use the incident as a warning to other pet owners.

He added: “I think it highlights the message to other dog owners to keep an eye on what their dogs eat, because if we had left it any longer it could have been very serious.”

Wilson underwent an exploratory operation at Forest Lodge to remove the golf balls on November 15.

Karen Belcher, head veterinary nurse at the centre, said: “We had a feel of his tummy and knew something wasn’t quite right, so we did an X-ray which revealed he had six to eight balls in there. We had to open his stomach to remove them.

“We have seen some unusual things over the years and that was certainly up there. We actually had a little bet as to exactly how many balls we would find.”

Other items removed from animals at Forest Lodge include a carving knife, pebbles, tin cans and bells.

“I don’t know whether the golf balls were covered in something that seemed tasty,” Mrs Belcher added. “But to eat seven he must have liked them. To eat any more would have been quite serious. His stomach would have ruptured and he could have died. Seven balls was probably the limit for him.”

Wilson was released from the vets’ the day after surgery and has since made a speedy recovery – though he is in the doghouse.

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