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Last Updated: Friday, 23 April, 2004, 11:59 GMT 12:59 UK
Op for dog who ate 28 golf balls
Mike Wardrop with pet Libby
The vet could hear the balls rattling around in Libby's stomach
Vets have operated on a dog who had become sick after swallowing 28 golf balls.

German shepherd Libby had been coughing up blood after weeks of fetching golf balls at the course where owner Mike Wardrop works.

Mr Wardrop said he had not realised the dog had a secret taste for the balls she found each day at Didsbury Golf Club in Manchester.

Libby is now recovering from the operation to remove them.

Mr Wardrop, who works as a bar manager at the club, said: "I've had to buy her two footballs. She can't swallow those."

Wolfing them down

Mr Wardrop used to watch with pride as 18-month-old Libby picked up balls on their daily walk around Didsbury Golf Club, Manchester, where he lives and works as a bar manager.

She would often drop some at his feet, but little did Mr Wardrop know that she was swallowing the rest.

The vets didn't even have to do an X-ray because they could hear the balls and feel them rattling around.
Mike Wardrop
He said: "It got to the stage where she would pick up four or five balls every day.

"She loved fitting them in her mouth. She would bring them to me and I'd have a laugh.

"I had no idea she was wolfing them down as well."

Mr Wardrop, 47, only noticed there was something wrong when Libby began to go off her food.

No X-ray needed

His wife Julie, 45, then noticed Libby coughing up blood and rushed her to the nearby Greenbank Veterinary Clinic.

Mr Wardrop said: "I didn't believe my wife at all when she told me Libby had swallowed 28 balls.

We've got every single ball back and we're keeping them as a memento
Mike Wardrop
"The vets didn't even have to do an X-ray because they could hear the balls and feel them rattling around.

"They were having bets about how many would be in there.

"I think the highest bet was 11, so they were shocked when 28 came out.

"I find it hard to believe she swallowed them whole and I'm gobsmacked to say the least."

The balls weighed in at 6lb and were recovered during a two-and-a-half-hour operation. Libby had to have 30 stitches to sew her back up.

Mr Wardrop said it cost 600 but was worth every penny.

He added: "Libby is fine now and a bit more bouncy than she was before.

"We've got every single ball back and we're keeping them as a memento.

"They are all brown from the stomach acid but we are keeping them to show people."


SEE ALSO:
Puppy makes a meal of choke chain
01 Jan 04  |  Cambridgeshire
Puppy survives knife trick
09 Apr 03  |  Merseyside


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