A vet says it is astonishing the stick had not punctured Rocky’s “vital organs and caused fatal injuries”.
A nine-month-old puppy had an emergency operation after swallowing a 10-inch stick half the length of its body.
Rocky, a crossbreed, was taken to Southampton PDSA Pet Hospital after his owner found he was being “sick repeatedly and couldn’t keep any food down”.
Vet Zofia Bauman said it was astonishing the stick had not punctured Rocky’s vital organs or caused fatal injuries, adding: “I’ve never seen anything like it.”
The 10-inch (25cm) stick was removed during a procedure lasting an hour, and Rocky was closely monitored overnight to make sure there was no internal bleeding.
Owner Joanna, 36, said: “We couldn’t believe he’d managed to swallow a stick that was half the length of his body.
“We didn’t see it happen and think he must have got hold of it in the garden. Thankfully, he’s on the mend and feeling better already, and that’s all thanks to PDSA.”
Ms Bauman said: “We knew Rocky was very likely to have eaten something he shouldn’t have to cause his sudden illness and suspected he had a foreign body in his stomach, but we couldn’t believe our eyes when we discovered the stick during surgery.”
PDSA said the charity recommends owners do not give sticks as toys to their pets.
A spokeswoman said: “Chewing or playing with sticks can cause wounds in the mouth and throat, choking or intestinal blockages as well as the risk of sticks getting lodged in the mouth.”