Page last updated at 11:16 GMT, Monday, 1 February 2010

X-ray reveals rubber duck inside terrier 18 months on

X-ray showing rubber duck inside dog - Copyright Ross Parry
Spike's owners said they would be keeping the duck as a memento

A dog has had a £1,000 operation to remove a rubber duck from its gut - 18 months after the bathroom toy vanished.

The owners of Spike the Patterdale terrier were astonished when they took their sick pet to the vet and discovered what had caused the problem.

Colin Smith, 52, of Thorner, near Leeds, said: "I was absolutely amazed.

"When we saw it after the operation it was the same duck he swallowed 18 months ago. We assumed he'd chewed it up and it had passed through him."

Mr Smith said he and his wife Lorraine Fenton were relieved to discover what was making their dog so ill, despite the £1,060 cost of the operation.

"It was just a relief to know there was something there causing the problem because we were quite worried about him," he said.

Spike the dog which swallowed a rubber duck
Spike has returned to putting more traditional objects in his mouth

The couple became concerned when six-year-old Spike began vomiting just before Christmas.

They took him to a vet in nearby Wetherby but initial tests failed to reveal the cause of the problem.

It was only after an X-ray that the truth emerged in the shape of a perfect outline of a rubber duck clearly visible in the dog's small intestine.

Mr Smith then recalled how Spike had taken the toy from the bathroom in the summer of 2008.

"He eats absolutely anything," said Mr Smith.

"He must have seen the duck and thought 'they're not going to let me have this' so he just swallowed it whole."

Mr Smith said he had kept the duck as a memento.

"The only difference is it's gone black after losing its yellow paint," he said.

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