Golf ball drama for dog Zach

Rod Elson, with Zach the German Shepherd that has had a golf ball removed from his stomach that he swallowed six years ago.
Rod Elson, with Zach the German Shepherd that has had a golf ball removed from his stomach that he swallowed six years ago.
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German Shepherd Zach bit off more than he could chew after a golf ball he swallowed SIX years ago almost killed him.

Vets were baffled as to what was making the dog so sick when he was rushed into Amical Vets in March by owners Jane and Rod Elson two weeks ago.

An X-ray revealed a mysterious ball in Zach’s stomach and emergency surgery was carried out on Friday, January 11 to remove it. Stomach acid had removed the casing, but it was still evident it was a golf ball.

Staff were amazed when Mr Elson revealed that the only time the pet could have swallowed the ball was an astounding six years ago.

“When he was about a year old, I took him to the park in Doddington,” Mr Elson explained. “He used to like chasing sticks and balls and a golf ball I found in the car was the only thing I had to hand, so I was throwing it for him.

“At one point, I saw it in his mouth, then it wasn’t there any more. He was running all over the park, so I thought he’d dropped it.”

In the six years that had passed since that day, Zach had never shown any signs of having the ball in his stomach but Dr Nick Valley from Amical said it could have sat at the back until something caused it to move recently and affect him.

Mr Elson said: “Dr Valley was amazed and he emailed photos to his vet friends in America. Zach’s become a bit of a celebrity. But we’re just glad to have him home.”

Dr Valley said: “I have only seen two other similar cases where dogs had been playing with small balls and got them stuck in the back of their throats. Sadly they died before reaching us.

“I would strongly advise owners not to encourage their dogs to play with small balls or other small objects.”

Zach is now recovering at home in Doddington, where he lives with his son Merlin.