A shih-tzu that swallowed a whole kitchen sponge was saved by vet charity PDSA.

Jade Bird, Alfie and PDSA vet nurse Caroline Watson.

Alfie, who is 20 months old, was keeping his owner Maria Bird company as she cleaned the bathroom when he swiped a clean sponge from the packet and swallowed it whole.

Mischief maker

Mrs Bird from Jarrow said: “Alfie has always been a mischief maker, but I was astounded when he wolfed down the sponge in one go. He seemed absolutely fine, but I knew he could be in deep trouble.”

Vet nurse Caroline Watson was on duty at PDSA’s Gateshead Pet Hospital when Alfie was brought in. She said: “We gave Alfie an injection to make him sick and thankfully, the medicine worked its magic quickly.

“Thanks to the speedy actions of Maria, Alfie avoided a far worse fate, as when pets swallow foreign bodies, they can cause tears or fatal blockages in the digestive system.

“We were amazed such a small dog managed to swallow a sponge of that size – it can’t have been very pleasant going down or coming back up again.”

Lessons learned

Alfie returned home shortly after his ordeal and returned to his usual self.

Mrs Bird added: “I am so grateful to PDSA for its fast action and help with Alfie. We are keeping a close eye on him to make sure he doesn’t snaffle any other spongy treats again.”

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