A KITTEN had a lucky escape in Sheffield after he swallowed a six-inch TV aerial and survived.
Alphie required emergency surgery when the metal antenna became lodged in his oesophagus and stomach.
Owner Vanessa Waite, 36, of Parson Cross, Sheffield, had only owned the young tabby kitten for a few days when he started his love affair with the TV.
He would sit for a long time being mesmerised by the moving pictures on the screen, but she had no idea he had also developed an unhealthy obsession with the aerial, she said.
“One night I heard a loud bang and went upstairs to investigate but I assumed Alphie had fallen off the window sill. He seemed okay and was just hiding under the bed.”
“However, during the night he was being sick so the next morning I took him to the PDSA. It wasn’t until later that I realised that one of the aerial antennas was missing from my TV.”
The aerial would have proved fatal if it remained inside him, so surgeons removed it through the kitten’s stomach.
Liz Airey, senior veterinary surgeon at the PDSA Sheffield PetAid hospital, said it was one of the most unusual cases she had ever come across.
She said: “It’s very rare. “We did have a case a few years ago when a dog ate a tent peg but it’s very unusual for such a solid object to be swallowed in this way.
“It seems as though the kitten had been playing with the antenna and inadvertently swallowed it which is a very unusual accident.
“It’s fortunate that he didn’t swallow it the other way round as the sharp broken end could have punctured his stomach and caused damage to his intestines which could have been fatal.”
Ms Waite added: “I couldn’t believe it when I saw the X-ray. The aerial looked huge in his tiny body. I’m so grateful to PDSA for saving his life, and it’s amazing that he’s gone on to make a full recovery.
“When he came home it was like nothing had happened - it definitely hasn’t taught him any lessons. He’s a real handful and I have to watch him all the time because he’ll try and stick anything in his mouth. He still loves the TV too but I don’t leave him alone with it anymore.”
The PDSA said they see many cases of pets that have swallowed strange items, ranging from rubber ducks, golf balls, socks and dummies.
The charity advises all pet owners to consult their vet immediately if they suspect their pet has swallowed something unusual.