An eight-month-old Labrador puppy called Warrior was rushed to St Peter’s Vet in Petersfield needing life-saving surgery.

Warrior swallowed a button battery from a child’s toy and needed urgent surgery to have it removed before it did serious damage.

He was rushed off to St Peter’s Vet in Petersfield and following the X-ray surgeons were able to see the battery had travelled through his stomach and into his intestines.

Warrior X-ray with button battery
(St Peters Vet)

Laura Gallagher, the vet who treated Warrior, said: “All batteries are potentially harmful if ingested, but button batteries pose an extra risk as they can leak caustic substances when they come into contact with saliva or digestive juices.

“Warrior was at risk of the battery burning a hole in the wall of his intestine, which could have led to life-threatening peritonitis, and the best course of action was to perform surgery to remove the battery. 

“We made an incision in Warrior’s abdomen, but although the battery could be seen clearly on the X-ray, it proved tricky to find because a dog’s intestines are quite long and the battery was tiny – it only measured about 1cm across.

“My colleague had the brilliant idea to use a sterile magnet to locate the battery within Warrior's intestine. The magnet attached to the battery and once located we were able to guide the magnet through and out of his intestines.“

A button battery similar to the one Warrior swallowed
(St Peters Vet)

Warrior is now back home and is continuing his training to become an assistance dog with Petersfield charity Hounds for Heroes.

Hounds for Heroes trains dogs to help improve the quality of life of armed forces and emergency services personnel with disabilities and St Peter’s Vets works alongside the charity to provide veterinary care and preventative healthcare to its puppies and adult dogs that are going through training.

Hounds for Heroes currently has 17 dogs in training and they have all been to St Peter’s Vets for vaccinations and routine treatment.

Warrior’s trainer Lauren Butcher said: “We are so grateful to Laura and the team at St Peter’s Vets for the care they showed Warrior, and it was ingenious to use a magnet to remove the battery.”

St Peters Vet and Warrior the battery swallowing dog
(St Peters Vet and Warrior )