A PUPPY in Hartford had a lucky escape after swallowing a bottle top thanks to the work of an experienced vet.

Ian Hopkins who works at Oakwood Veterinary Referrals, part of the Willows Willows Veterinary Group for 19 years and he used an endoscope fitted with a basket snare to remove the metal lid from the stomach of 15-week-old black Labrador, Liffey.

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The canine picked it up during her morning walk, but she swallowed it before her owners Marc and Kate Catherall could act.

She was rushed to the vets where she was X-rayed before being sedated so the delicate procedure could be carried out.

Ian said: "With Liffey being only 15 weeks old at the time, we were worried that if the bottle top travelled out of her stomach to her intestines, the sharp edges could cause damage to her gut which would have meant emergency surgery to save her life.

"I used an endoscope fitted with a camera and grasping snare to pull it back out of her stomach through her mouth.

"It meant we didn't need to cut her open and she was sent home the same day.

"It's always best to avoid surgery where possible in these situations because it reduces the risk of surgical complications and the length of stay for the pet in a hospital environment.

"In Liffey's case, luckily her owners had acted quickly so after X-rays, we anaesthetised her while we put the camera down her throat.

"I managed to grab the bottle top pretty quickly, there was no cutting involved, she may have had a little bit of a sore throat but nothing more.

"When I pulled the bottle top out, I saw it had a picture of a dog on it, which made me smile.”

Kate from Coddington near Chester, who is mum to Ella, 10, and Lottie, eight, said: "Liffey is a typical puppy who is at the stage where everything goes in her mouth, she thinks everything is food, she's pretty greedy.

"It was the worst and longest afternoon ever, I was in bits and very worried.

"But Ian was brilliant, he did a fabulous job and we were able to bring Liffey home that same day."

Willows Veterinary Group offers a wealth of knowledge and expertise through a network of 25 small animal practices.