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Md. dog survives swallowing 7-inch spoon

Tuesday - 1/10/2012, 2:38pm  ET

By THERESA WINSLOW
The Capital of Annapolis

ANNAPOLIS, Md. - Why did the dog swallow the spoon?

Because he couldn't find a fork.

(We'll give you a moment to stop smiling -- or wincing.)

But seriously, the dog in this story swallowed the spoon because -- well, no one knows why. But we do know Vincent the Labrador retriever survived his brand of table manners.

"We changed his name to a utensil retriever," said Dr. W. Chase Coale III of Greater Annapolis Veterinary Hospital, who removed a 7-inch-long tablespoon from Vincent's stomach in a complicated surgery Wednesday. "It's amazing he's alive."

Vincent went home the next day, much to the relief of owner Laurie Neomany. She just wonders how 9-year-old Vincent, who now sports a moderate incision on his shaved underbelly, got a hold of the spoon. It's not hers, but it sure was expensive. The spoon ended up costing $2,500.

"He's been a trash hound from the start," said Neomany, an Annapolis resident who has two other Labradors and a German shepherd. "I suspect (the spoon) had food on it and he must have been in a hurry and swallowed it down fast."

You think?

Until now, the most unusual things Vincent ate were a plastic bag (which came out the other end), and part of a rose bush.

"He's not picky about dog food," she said.

Video courtesy of Fox5

The spoon lodged in Vincent's stomach and perforated it. Coale said Vincent's spleen and intestines were gathered around the hole, making the operation difficult.

Neomany took Vincent to the vet Wednesday because he was vomiting and not eating. When a Labrador doesn't eat, she said, you know there's something wrong. She feared he had a tumor until an X-ray revealed the spoon.

"You kind of wonder how he got it down his throat," she said.

The spoon, which is pitted, tarnished and bent, is in a plastic baggie. Neomany guesses it had to have been inside Vincent for a couple weeks for his digestive juices to wreak that kind of damage.

She's considering punching a hole in the spoon it and wearing it around her neck as a reminder of Vincent's brush with death.

Interestingly, the same day Coale performed the spoon-ectomy, he removed a plastic ghost toy from inside a terrier.

Neomany, a long-time dog trainer, said Vincent's behavior has nothing to do with obedience. "Hunger will overtake anything," she said.

Neomany's just glad to have Vincent back home and happy. "He's the only boy I have."

___

Information from: The Capital of Annapolis, Md., http://www.hometownannapolis.com/


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)