UNITED KINGDOM -- When Kim Woollard’s dog Barney started feeling under the weather, she had no idea what could be wrong.
He’d been on a long walk on the beach the day before, and had seemed perfectly perky. But when Mrs Woollard took him to the vets and they gave him an x-ray - the answer was right in front of him.
Barney had eaten a staggering 109 pebbles during his walk on the beach.
The vets found 79 pebbles in stomach cavity - and Mrs Woollard found a further 30 stones in his basket when she returned home, that had already passed through his system.
Mrs Woollard, 52, who lives with husband Andrew, 58, a builder, in Chessington, Surrey, said: ‘We were absolutely astounded when we saw the x-ray and it showed why Barney was feeling under the weather.
‘No wonder he had been feeling sluggish when there were more than a hundred stones in his stomach.
‘When the vet showed us the x-ray I was gobsmacked. You could see lots of the pebbles still in his stomach and intestine.’
Mrs Woollard, a jeweller, had enjoyed a walk on a beach in Kent the previous day in September, with Barney her chocolate labrador.
She said: ‘Barney was always full of energy and he loved going for walks on the beach. It was a pebbly beach and I let him off the lead there as there wasn’t anyone on the beach apart from us.
‘Andrew and I were chatting and watching Barney, but we didn’t see him do anything out of the ordinary. He was racing along enjoying himself.’
Mr Woollard noticed a few stones in Barney’s basket when the couple returned home, but didn’t think anything of it.
But then the following day, Barney seemed off colour and some more stones were in his basket, so Mrs Woollard decided that she would take him down to the vet.
She said: ‘It looked like he had passed some pebbles, so I took him to the vet for a check up.
‘Andrew had ran his hand under his belly and we could actually hear them rattling, so we knew that there was a few more still in there.’
The x-ray showed that Barney had gobbled more stones that Mrs Woollard had even suspected.
She said: ‘I was astounded when I saw how many had eaten, and we hadn’t seen a thing whilst we were on the beach.
'He’d kept going into the sea and if he’d had his mouth open then he may have swallowed the stones then. I thought he may have swallowed a few, and then passed them in his basket, but I’d never imagined that it would be so many. The vet told us that it had been a good job that we had acted so quickly.’
Barney had an operation to remove the stones - and vets counted a staggering 79 in total, in addition to the 30 later found in his basket.
Luckily Barney made a full recovery from the operation. But vets also discovered that eating the stones had damaged his teeth and he needed a further operation on one of his front teeth a few weeks ago.
Mrs Woollard, who has three daughters Katie, 17, Holly, 15, and Emily, 13, added: ‘Since he was a puppy Barney has always chewed things. He’s always stealing washing off the line and tissues. He grabs them and hides them in his basket.
‘But we never imagined that he’d be swallowing stones when we took him to the beach. I think pebbly beaches are out of the question for him now.’
(DailyMail - Feb 24, 2013)