A GREEDY dog was left feeling below par after swallowing 16 golf balls.

Ben the boxer was rushed into emergency surgery after the cluster of 4cm wide balls were found lodged in his stomach.

Stunned vets in Runcorn were forced to carry out a two-hour operation to save the two-year-old pooch.

They discovered the cause of him feeling under the weather after carrying out an endoscopy of the stomach, which revealed a large blockage due to golf balls.

Chester and District Standard:

Dylan Payne, surgeon at Northwest Veterinary Specialists, said: “Ben's stomach was very full, so we needed to carry out an urgent surgery to open the stomach to allow us to remove the balls.

“It is a fairly routine and low-risk surgery, but the removal of so many golf balls is unique – 16 is a lot, even for a boxer.

“The operation was a complete success and Ben is back at home doing very well and gaining weight.”

Chester and District Standard:

Ben's owner David Warren, 70, first noticed his beloved pooch was feeling rough two months ago when he started losing weight.

The retired floor-fitter, from Bootle, took him to the vets who were concerned he had a blockage in his gut.

The grandfather-of-six said: “I had become concerned because Ben had been off his food, had lost weight and then he started being sick.

“One day he had been sick and there was a golf ball in it, but I never thought for a minute it was because he had eaten it.

Chester and District Standard:

“I just thought it was there because we live next to a golf course and he had been playing with the ball, so I was horrified when the vets told me about the blockage in his stomach.

“They said it was golf balls and I thought he must have swallowed one or two, but they said ‘no, he has swallowed 16.

“I could not believe it. I am not a golfer, so these were stray balls from the driving range that he had found and eaten, which shows how good the local golfers are.”

Chester and District Standard:

David, a widower, is now teaching his mischievous pet to chase after sticks and balls he cannot swallow.

“Thankfully, Ben has bounced back well, and the vets at Northwest were brilliant and looked after him so well,” he added.

“They really made me chuckle when they offered me the bag of balls to take home after the operation.

“I can see the funny side of it all now, but at the time it was a very serious situation and no laughing matter.

Chester and District Standard:

“I have tried to encourage him to play with tennis balls instead, the ones you attach and throw from a stick for the dog to chase, but Ben chewed the stick to pieces – that is him to a tee.

“I am going to have to buy some footballs for him to play with now, as he cannot possibly swallow something that size, can he?”