The owners of a black Labrador thought there was something fishy going on when he began vomiting, yelping in pain and acting out of character.

They told vets their sole suspicion was a fish two-year-old Teddy had gulped down during a recent trip to his favourite place, the beach.

But that proved to be a red herring as experts at Linnaeus-owned Cave Veterinary Specialists, in West Buckland, Somerset discovered the real cause was a needle-sharp kebab stick measuring nearly 5cm long, which had punctured his stomach and spleen.

Natasha Dickinson, from Cave’s imaging team, said: “Teddy was in a lot of pain and discomfort so we carried out an ultrasound examination to try to identify the problem.

“It showed a clear thickening of the stomach wall, possibly indicating it had been pierced by a foreign object. It also highlighted the presence of hyperechoic fat surrounding the spleen, indicating inflammation or a rupture.

“This was all consistent with the owner’s suspicion that a fish bone or even fishing tackle could be the problem.

“A more in-depth investigation showed a two-inch linear object which had passed though the spleen, which was clearly an immediate cause for concern.

“There was a real risk of a serious blockage and perforation of internal organs, as well as the risk of infection.”

Cave’s head of surgery, EBVS specialist Malcolm Jack, operated to get to the bottom of the issue and swiftly found the cause.

He said: “We operated to investigate and actually discovered it was a kebab stick which had perforated Teddy’s stomach wall and entered, and lodged, in his spleen.

“We carefully removed it and happily he’s gone on to make a full recovery, none the worse for his ordeal.

“We hope the incident serves as a reminder to everyone about the dangers that can be posed by items we discard and to pet owners to be ever-vigilant about what their animals are doing.”

For more information on Cave Veterinary Specialists, visit

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