A dog has had a miracle escape after swallowing a fairy wand almost the length of her entire body. Pip's owner Ashleigh Fisher raised the alarm after noticing the five-month-old whippet had something lodged in her throat.

A vet's X-ray revealed the animal had swallowed the child's toy whole. Ashleigh, who got Pip as an 18th birthday gift from her parents, said the family first noticed something was wrong when Pip began gulping loudly.

Laura Lamb, trainee nurse at the Bridge Veterinary Group in Middlesbrough said: 'When the X-ray was developed the vet and nurse could hardly believe their eyes.

'A long, narrow object was visible, starting at the bottom of Pip's throat and going off the edge of the plate towards her stomach.'

A second picture was taken, revealing that the object stretched all the way from the little dog's throat right into her stomach. Efforts to remove the wand were unsuccessful and it was decided the only option was to operate.

Following surgery, the staff and Pip's family were amazed to discover that the offending object was a toy fairy wand.
Laura said: 'Luckily for Pip, it did not appear to have done any damage to her insides and she had a good recovery.'

Ashleigh, who also lives with mum Karen, dad Stephen, 47, a builder, 16-year-old sister Abbey, and twin toddler sisters, three-year-olds Emily and Beth, added: 'We had no idea what it could be that she'd swallowed.'

Karen, 45, a council clerical officer, said: 'We knew Pip liked chewing things but we had never known her to eat anything.

'We couldn't believe she had swallowed the whole wand.

'She was a bit quiet but was still on her food so we didn't think anything was seriously wrong.

'We're on our guard now to keep things she could eat out of her way.

'She's doing fine now.'

Unfortunately, Pip did not have insurance at the time and her treatment cost in the region of £500 - an issue Bridge practice administrator Hayley Burgess says the surgery is now trying to make families with pets aware of.

Hayley said: 'A lot of people would have had to make an awful decision in that situation, and some may even have had to put their pet to sleep because they couldn't afford treatment. Insurance can cost very little, so we do recommend people insure their pets.'

The Bridge group has also been running a Christmas campaign this year to help make pet owners aware of festive dangers posed to animals. The dangers on their list includes foreign objects - such as children's toys - which are often left lying around the house at this time of the year.

The group's advice is to treat pets like curious children, and keep everything small out of their reach.