An Aberdeen dog owner had to rush her pet for emergency vet treatment after it ate a foot-long chicken skewer from a barbecue in a city park.

Anne McIntosh initially thought two-year-old Bowie had just snatched some meat from the barbie fired up by students in Seaton Park. But she was horrified when they told her it had been on the lengthy wooden skewer.

She got her Border Collie Kelpie cross to the city’s Vets Now clinic where the potentially lethal skewer was carefully removed with Bowie under sedation.

Now Anne is backing vets’ calls for pet owners to be extra careful as the good weather brings a surge in barbecue use, including in parks where they are increasingly common.

“It was a lovely evening and I’d taken Bowie to the park after I got home from work,” said Anne.

“He’d made friends with some students who were setting up a barbecue and when he ran towards them on the way back, I didn’t think anything of it.

“When I got to them, they were telling me I needed a vet and I thought they were worried because he’d eaten some raw chicken.

“But they showed me a really long skewer and indicated that he’d swallowed one of them whole, straight down like a seal eating a fish.

“I couldn’t believe it as he’d never do anything like that at home or in the garden.

“It had chicken, peppers and onions on it. I knew the onions were poisonous, but it was the damage the skewer could cause that really worried me as I thought it could pierce his internal organs.”Bowie the collie/kelpie

Fearing the worst, Anne carefully lifted Bowie into the boot of her car and rushed him to the Vets Now clinic in Skene Road.

It’s one of more than 60 clinics and hospitals across the UK that are open seven days a week for out-of-hours pet emergencies.

“It can be difficult to properly pick up wooden sticks on X-rays,” said Sophie Boyd, Principal Vet at the Aberdeen clinic.

“But as it was still in his oesophagus, we could just look in and see it. And because of the position, we were able to pass a camera down and use grabbers to carefully manoeuvre it out after a few attempts.

“Although he needed to be under general anaesthetic, we didn’t have to perform a full operation to remove it. He was very lucky.”

Once he came round after the procedure, Bowie was assessed before Anne was able to pick him up and take him home.

“My heart was in my mouth, and it was such a scary thing,” said Anne. “I’m just grateful Vets Now was there when we needed them.

“Bowie would never take anything lying around at home, but it was a different story at the park. I put him on the lead anytime I see or smell a barbecue now and I’d warn every owner to really watch out for barbecues as it can happen in an instant.”

Emergency Vet Dave Leicester, head of telehealth at Vets Now, says this is a reminder that barbecues, and parties can be dangerous for our pets.

“You should keep potentially dangerous human food out of your pet’s reach. Skewers, corn on the cob and bones can be particularly hazardous as can any, heavily seasoned or spicy foods.” said Dave.

“Ensure that you dispose of any food waste responsibly and secure any bins that contain potentially dangerous or toxic items.”