Barney the beagle was saved after emergency surgery

BARNEY the beagle had a brush with catastrophe – after a nail got wedged in his mouth.

The playful puppy had already chewed through owner Jane Webb’s computer cable, her satellite television cable and most of her cushions.

So when he and littermate Boris began setting about her living room carpet and then eating the underlay beneath it, long-suffering Jane wasn’t actually that surprised.

Then when six-month-old Barney’s jaw began clicking afterwards, and he couldn’t close his mouth, Jane assumed he’d just bitten off more carpet than he could chew.

But it was more serious than that – an x-ray picture taken at the Sheffield clinic of Vets Now, where Jane went for emergency help, showed a nail wedged between his teeth.

By then Barney was in so much pain that he wouldn’t let vet Victoria Wilson look in his mouth – so she admitted him for general anaesthetic.

Image of nail x-ray Barney the Beagle
An x-ray showing the nail in Barney's mouth

To Victoria’s surprise, once Barney was sedated, she saw the nail poking out from between his molar teeth.

Quickly, she got an x-ray carried out to determine how long the nail was and whether it had penetrated Barney’s skull.

The crystal clear picture showed the nail embedded between his teeth.

But luckily for Barney the nail hadn’t pierced his skull – and nor had he swallowed it, which could have had even worse consequences.

Barney’s story comes on the same weekend Brits are expected to spend a staggering £2.4bn on DIY products such as nails and screws.

It has prompted emergency vets to issue a warning to pet owners about leaving them lying around.

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Jane, 60, a retired family support worker, said: “I’m a mother of two and a grandmother of two and I can honestly say Barney and Boris are worse than two toddlers.

“They are constantly up to mischief – which is why we love them so much, of course.

“They’d chewed through half my house including the satellite cable, the computer cable and most of my furniture when this happened.

“We’d popped out and left them in their play pen – but they got out and managed to rip up the carpet and eat all the underlay.

“My partner Steve went for some carpet nails to try and hammer the carpet back down – and one of them obviously got stuck in Barney’s mouth.

“It’s funny now – but it was serious at the time. Poor Barney was in a lot of discomfort. I could hear this clicking sound from his mouth.

“Something obviously wasn’t right. Imagine if the nail had gone through his head or he’d swallowed it? It doesn’t bear thinking about.

“So there’s a lesson there for anyone doing any DIY with a cheeky young pup in the house!

“I’m very grateful to Victoria from Vets Now for her help.”

Barney and his equally mischievous brother Boris
Barney and his equally mischievous brother Boris

Victoria said: “It was a really unusual case – and Barney was very lucky indeed. If he’d swallowed the nail it may have lodged further into his body in his digestive tract.

“From the history Jane gave me, I suspected fairly strongly that he had a dislocated jaw from playing with Boris – I never thought he’d have a nail stuck in his mouth.”

Jane said: “Barney’s doing just great now. He’s made a full recovery. In fact, he’s out in the garden right now trying to chew off the clothes on my washing line!”

Image of Barney the Beagle and his mum for Vets Now article on nail dangers for dogs
Jane Webb with beagles Barney and Boris

Owners who suspect their pet has swallowed something dangerous should not wait for signs or symptoms to appear before they contact a vet.

Instead, they should telephone their vet immediately or, out of hours, their nearest Vets Now pet emergency clinic.

Vets Now is open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends and bank holidays such as Easter, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur.