A greedy dog has cost his owner thousands after swallowing 44 hairbands and needing emergency surgery.
Pip Johnson, 30, has revealed that she was left concerned about her Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Rupert’s health for months.
After around ten visits to the vet, Pip says she believed Rupert, six, had pancreatitis and started ordering special medicines from overseas.
But she finally decided to take him in for surgery after noticing that he started vomiting up hairbands.
Vets were then left stunned to discover two ” tennis ball” sized bundles made up of 44 hairbands – saying that they had never seen anything like this before.
While her pup is now on the mend, Pip, an NHS project officer from Bristol, said that she couldn’t quite believe what surgeons were pulling out of Rupert’s belly.
She said: “I couldn’t believe it when the vet told me. I think they’re each about the size of a tennis ball.
“I keep looking at the video in disbelief. No one can believe it, it’s just so funny! You can hear them saying, ‘Oh my god! What is that?!’.
“I asked if they’d ever seen this before and they said they hadn’t. Underwear and socks, but never hairbands. I’m just so relieved. It’s lovely to have him settled and well again. He’s fine now, sleeping and happy.”
Pip says Rupert first became ill in March, and became restless, was vomiting and waking her up at night.
Despite unsuccessful visits to the vet to find the root of the issue, it was only until the dog started vomiting up hairbands earlier this month that veterinarians were able to give the owner answers.
After it was decided that pooch should go under the knife, medics were left astonished after pulling out two huge balls of the bands from each of Rupert’s stomach and small intestine.
And a video even captured the moment the team at Zetlands Vets in Bristol pulled the bands out.
While Pip says that she knew Rupert was partial to the odd hairband as she’d spotted them in his stool before, she had no idea that he was constantly eating them.
However, Pip did reveal that her six-year-old pup previously ate her belongings, including headphones, ear plugs and even a pair of glasses.
She said: “He eats everything. He even finds hairbands under the sofa at other people’s houses – but I just didn’t think he’d gobble up everyone’s hairbands. He threw up this stuff that looked a bit like grass. I picked it up and ran it under the tap. I was like, ‘Oh my goodness it’s hairbands’.
“The elastic was sticking out from the fabric and they were much longer than they would usually be, but I could tell it was them. It looks like they’ve been there a good while. I think it’s been the hairbands all along. They take about 500 years to decompose so who knows how long they’ve been there.”
Jokingly, she went on to add: “I’m going to have to switch to scrunchies now.”
While Rupert is insured, Pips ays that the operation cost her a whopping £2,600.
Speaking about the procedure, Charles Sisson, the veterinary surgeon involved said: “There were two areas where the bands were present – one in his small intestine and the other in his stomach.
“Post removal there was minimal damage to his intestines which was fantastic for him! While we are very familiar with intestinal foreign bodies, I must say the nature of this one was quite novel to most of us.
“The fact the bands all came out in two cohesive masses was very interesting and very fortunate for Rupert.”