Oscar was rushed to Vets Now after scoffing his owner’s sewing materials

A woman’s spot of ‘make do and mend’ nearly ended in disaster after her puppy swallowed her needle and thread. 

Owner Emma Stainton, from Gainsborough, was doing some sewing when her springer spaniel Oscar made a point of getting in on the action. 

He snaffled the needle while Emma’s back was turned and, with the fear that it might perforate vital organs, the seven-month-old puppy needed an emergency dash to Vets Now in Lincoln. 

Council worker Emma was mending her son’s joggers when she was interrupted by a caller at the door. 

“I threaded the needle into the trousers and thought I’d moved them safely out of the way,” said Emma, 48. 

“When I went back, it was gone. My son and I had a good old hunt for it. Because Oscar wasn’t anywhere near and was playing around looking perfectly fine, we didn’t think it could be anything to do with him. 

“He even had his dinner and water without seeming ill.  

“But after searching everywhere for ages — it really was like looking for a needle in a haystack — we started to worry that he had somehow got hold of it. 

“He’s our first dog and we really weren’t sure but, unlikely though it seemed, we contacted our insurance company and asked for a vet’s advice. 

“When the vet phoned quickly, ahead of when the call was scheduled, we started to be concerned that it might be more serious.  

“Once we explained that we couldn’t find the needle anywhere, the vet said we shouldn’t wait, that we should get Oscar to an emergency vet right away that evening.”  

Dog swallows needle and thread
Owner Emma Stainton, from Gainsborough, was doing some sewing when her springer spaniel Oscar made a point of getting in on the action.

Emma called Vets Now and was told to take Oscar along to our clinic in Lincoln. 

It’s one of a nationwide chain of more than 60 hospitals and clinics open seven days a week for out-of-hours pet emergencies. 

And within minutes of being checked over, the evidence of Oscar’s curious nibbling became startlingly clear. 

“We sedated Oscar just enough for us to be able to do an X-ray on him,” said senior vet nurse Emma Ward. “The needle showed up right away and, luckily for Oscar, it had gone into the stomach. 

“We had to operate right away before it had the chance to perforate any other organs in the abdomen.” 

Oscar was prepped for surgery while owner Emma was kept up to date with her pet’s progress. 

“We went home but soon got a call to say what they’d seen on the X-ray and another in the early hours to tell us the surgery had gone well,” said Emma. 

“Thankfully, we were able to pick Oscar up in the morning and after a couple of days of being a bit lethargic, he was back to his old self despite the six-inch scar. 

“It was quite remarkable to see the X-ray and we even got the needle back – still with the thread attached! 

“It was just so good to have Vets Now on hand when we needed them and couldn’t wait until our own vets opened the following morning.” 

dog swallows needle and thread
“We had to operate right away before the needle had the chance to perforate any other organs in the abdomen.”

All of Vets Now’s premises always have a vet and vet nurse on site. 

We also offer an online video consultation service to make professional veterinary advice more easily available. 

While the service is not suitable for life-threatening emergencies like Oscar’s, our experienced vets are available to discuss any worries or concerns you might have. 

If your pet needs an in-person follow-up appointment at any vet practice, Vets Now will refund the online consultation fee, so you never pay twice.