VETS in Worcester saved a dog who swallowed a 10-inch stick.

Barney, a nine-year-old corgi, is believed to have gulped down the branch as he played in his owner’s garden in Hartlebury, near Worcester.

At first the cause of the lump protruding from Barney’s side was a mystery to staff at the Severn Vets practice in Worcester, with the thin stick failing to show up on an x-ray or a biopsy.

It was thanks to new CT scanning equipment at the practice’s Berkeley House site that the stick was spotted, perhaps up to one month after Barney swallowed the branch.

Owners Brian and Pat Davies initially took the corgi to the vet surgery after he seemed tired and not his usual self.

His appetite remained the same so they were shocked to eventually find he had swallowed the stick.

Brian said: "We couldn’t believe it. Barney had been off colour so we took him to the vets but they couldn’t find anything out of the ordinary.

"As days went by a small lump started to protrude from his side. As it then started to grow a little more we feared it may be a sign of cancer so took him back to the vets.

"We agreed for a CT scan to be taken and it was then that the stick was found.

"This came as a huge shock as we presumed he would have been off his food with something so significant in his stomach.

"Our garden contains lots of shrubs and plants so we reckon he wolfed down the stick when scurrying around.

"It’s remarkable it didn’t cause more harm."

Heidi Whieldon, veterinary surgeon at Severn Vets, said: "The stick didn’t show on a regular x-ray and blood and tissue tests weren’t showing anything unusual.

"The new CT scanner technology we have at Berkeley House allowed us to discover the cause of Barney’s discomfort with the stick having pierced through his stomach and abdomen and was causing the swelling and a hard lump on his skin.

"We operated on him to remove the stick and after a short period of recovery he was soon back to his normal self."

The CT scanner was introduced to Severn Vets after a £650,000 transformation at the practice.

The investment at Berkeley House, in Berkeley Way, also included two additional consulting rooms and two extra dedicated operating theatres.