Dogs will eat much more than just puppy chow. Fish hooks, coins and a fist full of rocks, even a heavy sewing weight and socks.
Pet owner Claire Hutchinson knows this first hand, saying, "We took our shitzu, Charlie, to get groomed that day and while I was there at the pet store I saw a bunch of puppies."
She wasn't in the market for another puppy since she already had two dogs, but she started playing with the puppies for fun.
One King Charles Cavalier she was playing with began jumping towards her face from her lap.
Hutchinson says, "the last time he jumped up he just took his teeth right around my diamond earring and pulled it right out of my ear. It was absolutely crazy."
Especially crazy since the diamond earrings were a special gift from her husband and very sentimental.
She says, "I knew it was gone but I wasn't 100% sure he had taken it. So I started really looking around the store and outside and in my car and I couldn't' find it. "
Finally, the pet store allowed her to take the dog a few doors down to Warner West Pet Clinic, and sure enough, they found her diamond earring in the dog's stomach in an x-ray.
Veterinarian Dr. Karen Brink says, "This is a shot of him lying on the side, and we see the earring there close to the liver, but it was right in the stomach. I told the owner it was a good thing we knew where the earring was, it was just a matter of getting it out of the puppy."
But this was a puppy Hutchinson didn't even own.
She says, "I needed to make a decision on what I had to do with this puppy, so I went back to the pet store and went ahead and purchased the dog."
After waiting a couple days, the puppy she named Bailey, didn't pass the earring naturally.
"The dog was starting to spit up blood, so that's when I knew something was not right. By then the diamond was starting to embed itself and it just has to come out," said Hutchinson.
Dr Brink says, "We anesthetized him and we basically went into the abdomen, isolated the stomach, opened up the stomach, located the earring, checked to make sure there wasn't anything else in there, because potentially there could have been, and basically closed him up."
Bailey's case is hardly unusual. Vets say they see cases like this once a month: strange things pets end up eating.
Brink says, "We've seen everything from sewing weights to diamond earrings to socks to underwear, toys, dog toys, kid toys, we've seen a lot of different things, corn cobs."
Vets say it's important to watch your puppy, don't leave things lying around, and crate train them when you're away.
And sometimes, regardless of age, you can't teach a dog new tricks.
Brink says, "Some dogs will do it repeatedly and they don't learn their lesson. It's not like once a dog has surgery they understand. That's not true."
Surgery can cost around two thousand dollars. For Claire Hutchinson, the way Bailey joined their family was definitely not cheap but she says she has no regrets.
"I would say close to a semester at Cal StateLong Beach or something like that. It was very expensive, between purchasing the dog and the surgery and the medicine. Looking back, it's part of life, and we have this wonderful dog that's part of our addition. Our three dogs get along so well."
WTTG FOX 5 & myfoxdc
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