Dog swallows Christmas fairy lights
It could have been "lights out" for a dog that swallowed a row of Christmas fairy lights if a team of British vets had not performed life-saving surgery on him.
Charlie, a seven-year-old crossbreed dog from Southampton, was saved by surgeons from veterinary charity PDSA after wolfing down his family's Christmas lights recently.
And the dog has a track record for getting his paws, and teeth, on household objects, having once eaten his owner Sharon Fay's scarf.
Fay, who aptly refers to her dog as the "light of her life", became concerned when she noticed bits of wire sticking out of Charlie's faeces in the garden.
The 45-year-old said: "I hadn't even noticed that the lights had been chewed at this stage but it quickly became clear what had happened.
"Back in March he ate one of my scarves and needed an operation to remove it, but I thought it was just a one-off incident as he hadn't shown any signs that he was going to be a repeat offender. I've had dogs all my life and have never known a dog act like this before."
An X-ray immediately cast a light on Charlie's problem - the tangled remains of the decorations clearly showed up in his stomach and would have proved fatal if they were not removed.
Vets rushed Charlie to the operating table and removed the Christmas decorations, also finding a shoelace.
PDSA senior veterinary surgeon Sophie Bell said she had never seen a case like it.
"Over the years I've seen plenty of cases of dogs swallowing strange objects - socks, dummies, rubber ducks, but it's the first time any of us have treated a dog that has actually eaten fairy lights," she said.
"A foreign body of this nature could easily have caused severe internal injuries so Charlie was very, very lucky. He was also fortunate that the glass didn't cut his mouth or throat. And he could have been electrocuted if he'd bitten through the wire when the lights were switched on.
"With the Christmas season upon us, I'd advise owners to keep any edible items out of reach of inquisitive pets to avoid them from becoming ill over the festive season."
Charlie has since gone on to make a full recovery.