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Dog survives after patio pebble feast

A VET says, with some understatement, that a springer spaniel is “lucky to be alive” after removing more than 400 patio pebbles from its gut.

Margaret Westwood, of Halesowen, near Birmingham took two-year-old Belle for an emergency operation after she ate the ornamental stones from the family’s front garden. “I don’t know what got into her that day, but the stones were blocking her intestines and she was very poorly,” said Mrs Westwood.

Vet Antonio Fratello said he had never seen anything like it in his five years in practice. “She is definitely lucky to be alive,” Mr Fratello said. “She had a stone blocking the intestine, and it was about to perforate,” he said.

Vet practice manager Val Marsh said: “She’s obviously got a liking for stones, because she vomited 200 up before the operation. Some of the stones were quite jagged and the worry was that she could have punctured her stomach lining.”

Belle, who swallowed at least 620 of the ornamental patio stones - enough to bury the entire cast of Brookside - has been given the all-clear after follow-up checks.

Margaret was advised to keep a close eye on Belle and to remove the ornamental stones from her garden.

“We’ve replaced the pebbles with larger ones that she won’t be able to get into her mouth,” Mrs Westwood said.