By Mollie Mansfield


A Veterinary Practice has released the most shocking x-rays they’ve seen this year, showing exactly what animals at when their owner’s backs are turned.

From whole light bulbs to seven rubber ducks in one sitting – the scans picture what troublesome pets digest when they’re left alone.

The incredible x-rays are vets’ entries in Veterinary Practice News’ annual ‘They Ate What?’ competition that offers a prize of $500 for the most shocking item to be removed successfully.

Despite 13 shocking scans making the final cut, the competition winner was a peahen who ingested Cupid’s arrow not long after Valentine’s Day.

Julie Burge, Doctor of Veterinary Medicine, said: “It was a few days after Valentine’s Day, but her family was only concerned about why their sweet pet peahen was less active and not eating well.

“Radiographs revealed she had been shot through the heart by Cupid’s arrow!

“A second view clarified it wasn’t exactly her heart, but her ventriculus that was affected, and the arrow was a needle, which wasn’t actually touching the heart-shaped charm she had also swallowed.

“We removed the pendant using grasping forceps via a small incision into the junction of the proventriculus and ventriculus, but the needle could not be located, and was thought to be embedded in the thick wall of the ventriculus.

“Following chelation therapy, the peahen was feeling fine, and has had no further symptoms.

“She is being monitored for complications in case the needle migrates and requires future exploratory surgery.”

Coming in as runners up were Nalani, a horse who ate her lunge whip’s handle, and a clumsy pooch who ingested an entire fishing pole.

Mary Hamorski, Veterinariae Medicinae Doctoris, said: “Nalani was found in her stall with a 6-ft rope from a lunge whip, but no handle.

“The stable hand went to feed her breakfast and after a mouthful of grain, she started choking.

“He opened her mouth and saw something black at the back of it.

“She was rushed to the hospital and radiographs confirmed the lunge whip’s handle was in her esophagus and retrograded into her sinus – at this point, she was in respiratory distress and needed an emergency tracheostomy.

“Dr. Claffey was able to pull the handle through her mouth and the horse remained in the hospital for seven days and was sent home.”

Additional honourable mentions were Brodie the Labrador, who ate a fork, a checking-account pooch who digested 152 coins and King the Great Dane who ‘caught’ a call in his throat when playing fetch.


Diane Streiff, DVM of VCA Elgin Family Pet Center, said: “Brodie is a sweet six-year-old Labrador that was presented after his owner witnessed him eating a fork.

“He had no GI upset, and after x-rays were taken, Brodie underwent surgery to have the fork removed.

“He went home afterward with no issues or regrets.”

Yvette Rozmarynowski, of Rugby Veterinary Service, said: “This 16-month-old Labrador ate his owner’s change from the console of his vehicle—all 152 coins, which added up to $14.13.

“We all agree the owner should get a piggy bank for his coins and not use his dog.

“The coins did not go toward his bill—the owner wanted to keep the change.”

Sherry Corona, DVM of Stuebner Airline Veterinary Hospital, said: “King is a two-year-old Great Dane that was playing fetch with his owner at the park down the road from the hospital when he “caught” an undersized ball with his throat.

“Luckily, it had a narrow hole in the center, which happened to line up perfectly with his airway.

“His owner rushed him in and there was some confusion as to whether or not he had actually swallowed the toy.

“This radiograph confirmed the problem and he was quickly sedated.

“The toy was removed manually by grasping it through the center hole and gently dislodging it from the back of the throat.

“He recovered completely and his owner now only gets him large-sized toys.”