A vet who performed emergency surgery on a pregnant pooch has branded her and her 11 pups’ survival a ‘miracle’.

Four-year-old springer spaniel Tia ate a hook which had been cut off a fishing line at the beach near Conishead Priory last month.

Tia was rushed into the emergency department at Archway Veterinary Practice in Grange after an x-ray showed the hook was all the way down in her stomach.

Vets had to perform major emergency surgery which turned out to be far more complicated than expected.

The hook had pulled back up through the stomach wall and into Tia’s diaphragm, effectively stapling the two together and missing major blood vessels by millimetres.

Jeremy Voakes, director of the Archway Veterinary Practice, said the incident was ‘life-threatening’.

He said: “We have removed several fish hooks in the past, usually in the mouth or stomach, but this was in the diaphragm.

“It was life-threatening because the fish hook was stuck inside a part of the diaphragm which ran alongside major blood vessels.

“It’s a miracle everything was okay because the surgery was very tricky.”

After the operation, Tia made a miraculous recovery and, to everyone’s delight, gave birth to 11 puppies.

Mr Voakes said everyone was ‘absolutely delighted’ after the puppies arrived safely.

“It’s rare for these two things to happen together – swallowing a fish hook and having 11 pups,” he said.

“There was always a risk from the anaesthetic that there would be issues. There was quite a high chance Tia wouldn’t carry her littler, especially so many of them. But she did and everyone was absolutely delighted.

“We did a scan after the operation and saw there were fetal heartbeats so it looked positive but until they were actually born we didn’t know for sure they were going to be alright.

“This was a massive litter and we were all so delighted all the pups and Tia were okay.”