AN East Lothian veterinary practice is warning dog walkers to be extra vigilant after treating six pets with painful injuries from discarded fish hooks.
The dogs, which were all treated at Dunedin Vets in Tranent, had been out for a walk with their owners on beaches in East Lothian when they picked up the fish hooks.
All the dogs escaped with minor cuts to their mouths or noses, but the pets were distressed and in pain and had to be sedated while the two-inch hooks were delicately removed by veterinary staff to avoid more serious tears to their skin.
Vet Margot Hunter is appealing to fishermen not to leave hooks behind and also urged dog owners to be cautious when out walking with pets near the coast.
Dogs brought in with fish hooks piercing their skin include eight-year-old Staffie, Kali, who had a hook with a length of line stuck in her gum while out walking at Torness with owner Drew Barbour, from Dunbar.
Molly, a five-year-old Cocker Spaniel, owned by Angela Curran, from Tranent, also had to have a fish hook removed from her lip following a walk at Port Seton, East Lothian.
Mrs Hunter said: “Since the end of May, we have treated six dogs who have come in with fish hooks stuck in their nose, lips or gums.
“It’s really unpleasant and painful for the dogs and the solid metal hooks have to be carefully clipped off under sedation.
“We can only assume the dogs are attracted by the fishy smell but then they get these sharp hooks stuck in their skin.”
Mr Barbour, who had taken Kali for a walk along the beach at Torness, said: “While she was off the lead, I noticed a long length of line trailing from her mouth.
“I cut the line off with a pocket knife, but the fish hook was lodged in her bottom gum. She was really in shock.
“When we returned to Torness two days later for a walk, there was another collection of line and fish hooks, so this is happening all the time and dog walkers need to be careful.”
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