Dachshund Dotty left in agony after swallowing triple-barbed titanium lure

A dog called Dotty had to be cut free by firefighters – after she got a metal fish hook trapped in her mouth.

Tiny Dotty, a super-curious wirehaired Dachshund puppy aged seven months, found the triple-barbed hook in an angling bag.

She let out a high-pitched scream as two of three hooks pierced her lip, wedging themselves in her mouth.

Frantic Dotty then began dragging the hook – still attached to a fishing line – in ever decreasing circles as she tried to free herself, crying out in pain as she did.

Her distraught owners Sean and Fiona Dean and their 17-year-old daughter Eleana did their best to prise the hook free – but it was jammed solid.

So they rushed Dotty to pet emergency service Vets Now in Winchester, Hampshire, where two vets and a veterinary nurse sedated Dotty before trying in vain to remove the hook.

But the solid titanium lure was just too strong to be cut through.

As a last resort, and anxious that distressed Dottie was just millimetres away from impaling herself on the third hook as well, Vets Now staff called the fire brigade.

Just a couple of minutes later, a fire engine arrived at the clinic with its sirens blazing and blue lights flashing.

Four firefighters rushed in with a variety of equipment normally used for freeing people trapped in car accidents.

But even the firefighters were stumped for nearly 40 minutes until they struck lucky with a pair of cutters strong enough to break through the metal.

Only once the hook was snipped in half were the vets were able to release it from the lip of a now heavily sedated Dotty.

Amazingly, Dotty was strong enough to go home, a little woozy but otherwise unscathed, an hour or so later.

Sean said: “It was a drama from start to finish. I was up a ladder painting when I heard Dotty whelp in pain. It was an awful noise, really high-pitched.

“I went running and so did everyone else in the house and that’s when I saw what had happened.

“She’d found the hook in Eleana’s boyfriend Jack’s fishing bag. It had two barbed hooks and one straight one.

“Poor Dotty had got the straight one and one of the barbed ones stuck in her mouth with the other barbed one really close to getting stuck as well.”

“She was dragging the bag round trying to get herself free but that was just making it worse.”

Image of Dotty the dachshund for Vets Now article on dangers of fish hooks to dogs
Dotty's case shows just how dangerous fish hooks can be for small animals

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Sean tried in vain to remove the hook but it was wedged solid.

He added: “At this point, my wife phoned our local vets for advice and they said we should take Dotty to Vets Now in Winchester – and I’m very glad we did.

“Two vets and a nurse were tried to remove the hook but it just wouldn’t move.

“The fire station is only across the road from the clinic so they arrived super-quick and in full emergency mode – which we were very touched by.

“It really was an emergency because if Dotty had got stuck on the other bit of the hook then it could have been fatal for her.

“The four fire guys eventually came out one by one, all with huge grins on their faces, and that’s when we knew it had gone okay.

“Jack was with me at Vets Now and I think he was even more relieved than I was.

“Dotty is actually Eleana’s dog and poor Jack was sitting there blaming himself for what had happened when it was really just a freak accident.”

Image of Dotty the dachshund for Vets Now article on fish hooks and dogs
Dotty with her loving owners

Senior vet surgeon Aisling O’Loughlin was part of the team who treated Dotty. She said her case was a great example of emergency teams working together to achieve a positive outcome.

She added: “Our vets regularly see fish hook injuries in dogs and cats but it’s rare for us not to be able to remove them.

“In Dotty’s case, we were very grateful for the help of the fire brigade as we needed to cut the hook to remove it but just couldn’t manage it using our own equipment.

“Her case shows just how dangerous fish hooks can be for small animals. Our advice is never, under any circumstances, pull on a fishing line coming from your pet’s mouth and do not cut it either. If the line is long, gather it up and tie it to your pet’s collar so it cannot be swallowed.

“It’s great to hear Dotty is now back to her old self. She was a real star and we were delighted to be able to help her.”

Fearless Dotty, meanwhile, has made a full recovery at the family home in Collingbourne, Wiltshire, 30 miles from the clinic.

“There’s not even a mark on her face,” said Sean, who works for a furniture company. “She’s totally unscathed by it and still just as playful and full of mischief.

“She’s out digging in the garden, jumping on the sofas and turning round to get her tummy tickled like nothing has ever happened!”