A SPRINGER spaniel, who gave his owners a scare when he swallowed a golf ball, is on the road to recovery after a lifesaving operation.

Maxy’s owners David and Karen Forster have praised the Paragon vet who performed the difficult surgery which removed the golf ball from their dog’s small intestine.

The six-year-old spaniel had grown sick over the course of a few months - he was barely eating or drinking and kept trying to make himself sick.

“I was absolutely terrified when Maxy went in for the surgery,” said David Forster, a retired police officer from Penrith.

“We thought it was touch and go.

“He wouldn’t even take a drink of water. He was in dire straits.”

The couple had absolutely no idea what was wrong with their beloved dog so they rushed him to Paragon’s Newbiggin surgery.

After a check-up, Maxy was then sent on to the surgery in Dalston which was more equipped to deal with the problem.

Graham Lewis, the vet who performed the surgery, said: “We were concerned that he might have something stuck and an X-ray showed the golf ball.

“We took him into surgery pretty much straight away.”

David and Karen quickly figured out where Maxy had picked up the problem golf ball.

Whilst walking Maxy through Flusco Wood three months earlier, David noticed that he had picked up the culprit.

He said: “He picked up his tennis ball and I saw he also had a golf ball in his mouth, and then I didn’t see the golf ball again.

“I gave it half a thought and then dismissed it.”

The golf ball had become lodged near Maxy’s pancreas.

It had moved from his stomach to the small intestine where the vets believed it had become stuck.

“It was quite a stressful procedure,” said Graham.

“The pancreas is an important and delicate organ, and an operation in that area has to be handled with great care.”

Despite it being a tricky operation to undertake, the springer spaniel was able to go home the following day.

But, like all dogs, it wasn’t long before he was back to being his usual bouncy self.

David remarked: “He’s back to his normal self, bouncing all over the place and chasing birds and the usual springer spaniel stuff.”

Graham said: “We can perform surgery if there is a blockage but it has a fair degree of risk, especially if it is in a complicated place.

“Foreign bodies in the intestines of dogs are a fairly common thing, unfortunately.”

As far as dogs swallowing odd items go, a golf ball is a fairly small feat.

PDSA, the animal charity, found that some veterinary staff across the country had removed tent pegs, knives and radio aerials from dog’s stomachs.

Graham added: “We have seen and removed some interesting things over the years.

“As far as actual golf balls being removed, it is pretty rare but not completely unheard of.”