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British vets list the 10 weirdest items eaten by pets

December 30, 2008 |  3:56 pm

Dogs love socks!Britain's People's Dispensary for Sick Animals, a charity that provides free veterinary care to the pets of low-income Brits, has released a list of the weirdest items its vets have removed from pets' stomachs. 

The top 10 items, according to the Telegraph:

1. Ten-inch tent peg
2. Christmas decoration (star-shaped)
3. Kitchen knife
4. Alphabet fridge magnets
5. Man's wig
6. Ann Summers underwear
7. Bell
8. Fishing hook
9. Socks
10. Rubber duck

So just how big a deal is it when a pet ingests a foreign object? Very big, says WebVet.com, which offers this advice:

Intestinal obstruction is an emergency that requires immediate veterinary attention! Make sure to give your veterinarian a complete history, especially if your pet has eaten any foreign material. Your vet will perform a physical examination and take x-rays to look for signs of obstruction. Treatment consists of abdominal surgery to remove the obstructing material and to examine the full length of the intestine. Sections of intestine that appear dead will need to be removed, with the healthy ends sewn together.

To prevent future rubber-duck-and-underwear-eating calamities, the People's Dispensary offers a handy downloadable PDF of common (and less common) indoor safety hazards and ways to protect your pet.  Pet safety: It's not just for Europeans!

-- Lindsay Barnett

Photo: Pico the poodle leaps for a sock -- no word on whether he swallowed it. Credit: Steve Osman / Los Angeles Times

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