Howie the chocolate Labrador saved after swallowing metal skewer

A greedy dog needed emergency treatment after swallowing a chicken kebab – and the entire 15-inch metal skewer it was attached to.

X-ray pictures clearly show the giant piece of metal stretching along chocolate Labrador Howie’s tummy and then up into his gullet.

Howie spotted the skewer as it lay on a kitchen worktop laden with chicken cubes marinated in Greek yogurt along with diced peppers, onions and mushrooms.

Howie, aged eight, jumped up and swallowed it in one gulp when owner Sue Woodward turned her back for an instant.

Software engineer Sue could only look on in dismay as the skewer vanished down Howie’s throat.

An image of Howie the chocolate Labrador who ate kebab skewer
Howie the 'sword swallowing' chocloate Labrador

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The dog has a history of getting up to mischief – having once destroyed his owners’ wooden Venetian blinds and also eaten their underwear, socks and kitchen sponges among other things.

Sue, 45, said: “We were getting ready for a barbeque and my husband Ian had lovingly marinated this chicken. We were really looking forward to it.

“But Howie just swallowed it like a sword. Labradors don’t really chew their food so much as inhale it.

“It was a like a vacuum cleaner. He just jumped up, grabbed it from the worktop and hoovered it up.

“My husband Ian had made two of these kebabs – so I whipped the second one out of the way but the first was a goner.

“I said to Ian, ‘Er, I think we’ve got a bit of a problem here. You know your skewers? Well, Howie’s just eaten one.”

Sue, from Fareham, Hampshire, rushed Howie to the Vets Now pet emergency service in nearby Portsmouth.

Medical staff checked his tummy and did x-rays which clearly showed the skewer lodged inside him.

Luckily, they managed to remove it without having to resort to surgery.

Image of kebab skewer
The kebab skewer Howie swallowed was a massive 15 inches long

"Howie is quite a character. After his treatment, he came running out of the vets wagging his tail like nothing had happened."

Sue and Ian Woodward Howie's owners

Sue said: “We’ve had Howie eat all sorts of things before -he’s eaten knickers, socks, kitchen sponges and he once ate a whole bag of frozen chicken breasts he’d managed to grab.

“We came home from work once and he’d chewed his way through the Venetian blinds on the bay window in our hall.

“He likes to lay at the window and look out so I suppose the blinds must have been getting in his way.

“Another time he broke into his own food cupboard while we were out and ate every bit of his dried food. His stomach swelled and he looked enormous.

“But the chicken skewer is definitely the most dramatic incident we’ve had. It could obviously have been very serious for Howie if the skewer had punctured something.

“The staff at Vets Now were really kind and really great with Howie. We gave them a big hug when we left for looking after him so well.

“He came running out wagging his tail like nothing had happened.”

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Aircraft technician Ian, 49, said: “Howie is quite a character and we wouldn’t change him for the world. But the next time I marinate chicken I’m keeping it well out of his way!”

Carlos Entisne, principal vet at Vets Now in Portsmouth, said: “Our vet did an X-ray and could see the skewer and was able to remove it.

“Thankfully, Howie made a full recovery and was able to go home the following morning. But he was lucky to survive.”

Carlos added: “This is the type of incident that often happens during barbeque season and it shows how dangerous some barbeque foods can be for dogs.

“You should always keep potentially dangerous human foods out of your dog’s reach and if you suspect your dog has eaten something he shouldn’t have eaten then you should seek urgent veterinary advice.”

The Vets Now clinic in Portsmouth – where Howie received treatment – was recently rated as “outstanding” in the delivery of emergency and critical care by the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.

It’s one of 55 Vets Now clinics and pet emergency hospitals across the UK that are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends and bank holidays, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur.