A dog feared to cancer had actually eaten four teddy bears, but the vet did not realise until halfway through the operation.
Eight-year-old St Bernard Maisy was taken for a CT scan after she was taken ill, which showed a mass on her spleen and an unusually full stomach, seemingly showing she had not digested her food properly.
Her owner, Jane Dickinson, from Dewsbury in West Yorkshire, feared the worst as she took her pet to Paragon Veterinary Referrals in Wakefield.
It would not be unusual for Maisy, an elderly dog, to have cancer at her advanced age.
However, vet surgeon Nick Blackburn ruled out any fatal disease when he carried out the operation to remove Maisy’s spleen and found her stomach was full of soft toys.
He said : “It’s fair to say this was not something we were expecting to find! We all know certain dogs enjoy chewing things they shouldn’t but managing to devour four full teddy bears is quite a feat.
“I know Jane was worried about Maisy as she is quite old for a St Bernard, so we were naturally delighted the operation was such a success and we were able to return a happy, healthy dog to the Dickinsons.”
Her owner said she had never seen the gentle giant chewing or eating toys, but that now the operation has been completed Maisy is “loving life”.
Ms Dickinson explained: “When Maisy went in I did think ‘is she coming out?’ but she is loving life now – it’s like she’s got her youth back.
“The toys weren’t even hers! She will steal the chihuahuas’ toys and play with them but I’ve never seen her trying to chew them. Her eating habits had been completely normal.
“I didn’t even recognise one of the toys – my brother also keeps chihuahuas and it turns out it belonged to his dog.”
Maisy has since made a full recovery from her operation and a histology report has shown no signs of cancer.