A North East vet has saved a dog's life after surgically removing a sharp skewer from its chest after the canine swallowed the object.

Joanne Ogden was left worried after realising something was wrong with her adorable Cockapoo, Rolo, who was left suffering from bouts of vomiting and diarrhoea after a family barbecue last summer.

Initially, his symptoms cleared with treatment from Clifton Lodge Vets (CLV) in Hartlepool and x-rays found nothing unusual.

However, Ms Ogden soon made a shocking discovery after her 18-month-old pup yelped with pain after she put her hands underneath his stomach, and subsequently discovered a lump on Rolo's side.

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CT and ulltrasound scans later revealed a sharp skewer in the pooch's chest, which is believed to be a 'kebab stick' Rolo had pinched from the family barbecue last year.

After this revelation, Sarah Crawford, clinical director at CLV, performed surgery on the pup in what the vet said was "the only option" to save his life.

She said: “We believe the stick had somehow been ingested and pierced his stomach at some point and managed to migrate into his chest.

"The stick was about 1cm away from his heart and the other end was poking out towards the body wall.

"It was trapped under the ribs. If it had worked its way into the heart Rolo would have died quite quickly.

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“He was on a lot of antibiotics because of the infection created around the stick. Sooner or later the body would have grown resistant to the antibiotics.

"If there’s something still in there causing the infection, you can’t win that battle.”

The vets said the skewer was not immediately found on the x-ray as this method cannot detect wooden objects.

Louise Craggs, head nurse at the vets, administered oxygen to Rolo while senior veterinary nurse Sue Gibson closely monitored his vital signs, such as heart rate and breathing, while he was under anaesthetic during the operation.

“As soon as we opened the chest, the lungs stopped inflating because of the negative pressure. Louise was literally breathing for him throughout the surgery and Sue was monitoring him," Sarah added

"We wouldn’t be able to do what we do without our nurses who provide such excellent patient care.

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“We went in, and the stick was there, poking out. We removed it in two halves as it had broken in the middle. As soon as I closed him up, he started breathing for himself. It was amazing. It was major surgery but within an hour he was up and about and eating.

“There’s always a risk of post-operative infection but we have seen him back for a few checks and he is doing really well. It is so rewarding when a plan comes together.”

Meanwhile, Ms Ogden was left relieved after Rolo made his recovery and said she will remain vigilant with what food is left in his reach from now on.

She also praised the staff at CLV for saving Rolo's life and said she cannot thank them enough.

She said: "It was a shock to see the skewer so close to his heart on the scans. I prepared myself for the worst because of where the stick was and how risky surgery was going to be.

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"When Sarah rang to say he was out of surgery and breathing on his own, I was shocked.

“He has made an incredible recovery. He is back to his normal self apart from having a scar down his chest. He is very energetic and has a lovely, funny character with a little bit of sass as well.

“When I walk into the vets practice now everybody knows him. I can’t thank them enough. The care has been amazing.”