Vets urge caution on waterside dog walks after greyhound swallows fishing hook

On the evening of 18 September Sean’s owner Angela Reed-Fox took her greyhound Sean for a walk, but noticed something was off about him.

They’d been strolling along Portishead Marina and Sean had been his usual playful self, before 40-year-old Angela noticed he was in distress.

As it turned out, the 8-year-old dog had swallowed a discarded fishing hook, which could have been fatal without emergency surgery.

Sean, an 8-year-old Greyhound who swallowed a discarded fishing hook on the evening of 18th September.

‘My husband and I were chatting, Sean was wandering around like he normally does,’ says his owner Angela, a nurse from Portishead.

‘As Sean returned to us, he was making a strange gulping noise. He got closer and we noticed a long orange wire sticking out of his mouth. My husband jumped up to take a closer look, then we drove to Vale Vets immediately.’

Arriving at the MyFamilyVets practice, where Angela’s been a client ever since adopting Sean when he was 2, the wire coming from the greyhound’s mouth had shortened considerably, meaning that whatever was at the other end of it had made its way further down.

Sean was given an x-ray and the team confirmed that the mysterious artefact he’d swallowed was a crabbing hook.

The surgery took place right away, was a success, and thankfully Sean was allowed to go home the following morning.

‘I’m so relieved that everything aligned and it all went well,’ says Angela, who’s well aware of how much worse the situation could have been.

‘The hook could have caused fatal internal bleeding. Not only that – had we not known what had happened at the time, the hook could have caused sepsis, which could have killed Sean.’

Following the incident, the practice issued a warning on their Facebook page urging local dog owners to be mindful of litter when out walking with their pets.

They wrote in the post: ‘Please take care when walking your dog & look out for unwanted littering hazards which you dog may mistake for a tasty snack.

‘This is Sean who is a big supporter of Vale Vets. Up until recently he was one of our “Doggy Lifesavers” as he was on our blood donor list helping poorly dogs before retiring due to his age.

‘Sean came in to us at the weekend as managed to eat a discarded fish hook complete with line at the marina in Portishead whilst on a walk.

‘Our vet Phoebe quickly anaesthetised him to locate where the fish hook had travelled to. She then operated to remove the fish hook from his stomach taking care not to damage the lining. He is now recovering at home with lots of cuddles having made a lucky escape due to his quick thinking humans!’

Sean was subdued for the first few days after his operation, but has begun a gradual return to his usual self. He’s been enjoying small walks and his favourite ‘dog tapas’: rice and scrambled eggs.

Angela describes Sean as super-chilled, quirky and trusting. He’s her first ever dog, and is no ordinary pet.

‘He’s a very special dog who just trusts people. Despite being nervous and in shock throughout the ordeal, he seemed to know that what the humans were doing, they were doing for his own good,’ she said.

Angela and her husband have kept a close eye on Sean at home as he makes a steady recovery, but without this emergency surgery it could have been a much more tragic ending.

Dogs are often curious and munch on things they see on the floor, but in areas like marinas and canals where they might be sharp objects lying around it’s important to stay vigilant – and head to the vets ASAP if you do notice anything strange.

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