Whilst Vets Now Referrals in Swindon has treated pets swallowing strange objects including stones, coins, and soap; never have they seen an owl swallow a sock, until now.
John Dowling, the owner of a falconry business and keeper of a 13 week old Indian eagle owl called Lydon began noticing he was not eating properly and looked dazed and confused when taking part in a local event "Stonehouse Horticultural Show & Summer Jolly" where John Dowling Falconry Limited had a display. After the show John became concerned as Lydon looked like he was trying to vomit but couldn’t so took him to Vets Now Referrals in Swindon for a consultation.
Neil Forbes, FRCVS, a qualified Specialist in Avian Medicine, examined Lydon realising there was a hard swelling on his abdomen. Radiographs confirmed a bloated and very full stomach. The decision was taken to operate on Lydon to remove whatever was inside. Fearing a growth or tumour, Neil was surprised, and confused, when he found a smelly old sock in Lydon’s stomach. With the sock successfully removed, Lydon was able to go home a few hours later, none the worse for his experience.
Lydon’s owner, John, commented “Lydon is a hand reared Indian eagle and is often in and around the house. The sock is a toy he has played with since he was a owlet, and never did I think he would, or could, have eaten it!
“I was obviously surprised when Neil found the sock in Lydon’s stomach but more relieved than anything. I feared the worst but was delighted to find out it wasn’t something more sinister.”
Neil added “Never in my 28 years of avian medicine experience have I treated an owl that swallowed a sock, it’s just unheard of. Thankfully John brought Lydon into our clinic for a consultation upon suspicion something wasn’t quite right and we were able to remove the sock preventing further health deterioration.
“We would always advise owners of pets to be careful when leaving items around the house, as you can never predict how mischievous pets can be.”