When Snowy the West Highland terrier became ill and stopped eating, her worried owners took her to the vet.
But a new diet, medical tests and even antibiotics failed to perk up the little dog.
It was only when the one-year-old had an X-ray that it became obvious she had fallen victim to a dog’s traditional enemy – cats.
Snowy had swallowed five plastic toy cats. The biggest was two inches tall and an inch wide and showed up clearly, and rather spookily, on the X-ray.
It could be seen, it’s wide eyes showing its concern about its plight, staring out from between Snowy’s ribs. Mrs Reed, 42, said: “I was shocked when the vets phoned to say Snowy had swallowed a few cats. I thought they meant real ones! We’re just so pleased she’s OK. We’ll make sure she never does this again.”
Mrs Reed, of Wyton on the Hill, Cambridgeshire, became concerned after Snowy suddenly stopped eating and started being sick.
She took her to the vet who thought Snowy may be reacting to dog food so they changed her diet.
When that did not work the vet took urine samples believing it to be a kidney problem but after these were all-clear he gave Snowy a course of antibiotics.
The baffled vet then took X-rays of her stomach – and was amazed to see the outlines of the five toy cats standing out.
Mrs Reed, who lives with her husband, Mick, 42, and their four children, said: “We were really worried. Snowy is a much-loved member of this family and we feared the worst and thought she was seriously ill.”
Nigel Belgrove, partner at Cromwell Vets in Huntingdon, said: “It is a very unusual case and one of the most unusual X-rays I’ve ever seen. We could clearly see the biggest cat inside her stomach. We could see the ears and tail.”
Mrs Reed said Snowy had made a good recovery and was now a much happier dog. “She’s a different dog, very sociable, happy and full of energy.” she said. “We’re relieved she’s okay and that we found out what was wrong with her, even if it was a huge surprise to us.”