Urgent warning to pet owners after Castleford labrador swallows battery from flashing ball
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Trevor, an 18-month-old black Labrador, had been playing with a ball one evening when his owner spotted two button batteries on the floor among bits of rubber he had ripped off.
Connor Sweeting realised then that the toy had a flashing light inside and he frantically tried to piece the parts back together only to discover that a third battery was missing.
Connor immediately alerted Chantry Vets and rushed his beloved pooch to the veterinary hospital in Brindley Way, Wakefield, where the emergency out-of-hours team was on standby.
X-rays clearly showed the battery in Trevor’s stomach, which posed a huge risk as any leak of battery acid could cause serious and life-threatening internal damage.
Dr Jose Lopez attempted to retrieve the battery by endoscopy – a minimally invasive procedure which allows a vet to insert a flexible tube through a pet’s mouth into their stomach to remove a foreign body with specialist tools – but Trevor’s stomach was too full of food from his dinner.
Trevor underwent surgery which involved Dr Lopez opening up the abdomen and successfully removing the battery during a delicate operation.
He was then closely monitored before returning home the following evening and has made a full recovery.
Vets sometimes induce vomiting to retrieve a foreign body, but this wasn’t an option in Trevor’s case because the acidity of vomit could react with the battery and cause serious tissue damage.
Dr Lopez praised Connor for immediately seeking veterinary care, and he is urging other pet owners who suspect their dog has swallowed a foreign object to seek prompt advice from their vet.
Symptoms vary but may include sickness, diarrhoea, lack of appetite and tiredness.
He also encouraged owners to supervise their pets when playing with toys, ensure any balls are an appropriate size for the dog and throw away any that are damaged.
Connor said he had been visiting family that evening when Trevor started playing with a toy ball belonging to his sister’s miniature dachshund puppy.
He said: “Trevor still thinks he is a puppy. I have always been vigilant with all of his toys because he likes to rip things up, but he never eats them. I went to check what he was chewing and saw two really small button batteries on the floor.
"I knew they usually come in threes, so I panicked. I put the pieces back together and realised there were spaces for three batteries.
“Within half an hour of me calling, he was being x-rayed at Chantry Vets which was brilliant. The vet showed me the x-ray and you could see the battery as light as day. They phoned me about 3am to let me know the operation had been successful which was a huge relief.
“Thankfully he was back to himself after a week. We have been back for check-ups, and he is fine and back to normal.”