Fish Hook Removal

The east coast of Australia is a popular place for fishing enthusiasts. Fishermen visit our suburban beaches in search of tailor, bream, snapper and much more. Some would call it a fishing paradise, but for local families and their pet dogs, sharing dog friendly beaches has become a danger zone.

Bosca, the 5 year old Beagle was enjoying her usual beach walk with her family, when her fur-brother came across an abandoned fishing pole. Thankfully, Bosca’s mum retrieved the line from her fur-brother; but whilst her back was turned Miss Bosca, showing her true beagle colours, was unable to resist the fishy smell of the fishing hook and within one second it was gone – straight down Bosca’s throat, lodging into her oesophagus!

Knowing that the hook needed urgent removal, Bosca’s family took her directly to their local vet, Point Clare Veterinary Hospital, where she was quickly referred to SASH Central Coast to see our amazing Medicine Specialist, Dr Hannah Darcy.

Unfortunately, Bosca’s fish-smelling snack had lodged in a tricky spot and if surgery was required she only had a 50% chance of survival. So, it was up to Dr Hannah to remove the hook using an endoscope; an endoscope is a flexible tube with a light and camera attached. The scope was passed through Bosca’s mouth and throat and into her oesophagus. Dr Hannah operated the endoscope with a precision that is truly something to be admired. She was able dislodge and remove the nasty hook from Bosca’s oesophagus. Bosca then recovered from the procedure in the arms of our dedicated In Patient Care Nurse, Sam.

Bosca was lucky, but sadly this is not always the case. Fishing hook ingestion is very common in coastal areas, and once swallowed, the hook can puncture anywhere from the oesophagus, stomach or intestine. The chance of it passing through without causing any harm is extremely low.

Discarded fishing gear affects not only dogs, but cats and native wildlife as well, with thousands of sea turtles, marine mammals and seabirds falling victim to fishing gear pollution every year.

If your pet has a run in with some discarded fishing gear, please contact our 24 hour emergency department –  and if you like to fish, please always dispose your hooks in a bin and not the water.