Dog tongue swells to 'monster' size
A pet dog nearly died after suffering a freak accident that caused her tongue to swell to four times its normal size.
Penny before surgery to remove a pig's aorta that had wrapped itself around her tongue
Penny almost suffocated when her tongue ballooned as she tucked into her favourite treat of pig's heart.
Membrane from the pig's aorta wound itself around the base of her tongue, cutting off the blood supply which caused it to swell to "monster" proportions.
The lack of blood also meant that parts of the tongue died off and could have led to a fatal infection.
Her situation worsened when she desperately tried to paw her tongue free, causing blood to gush from her mouth.
Her horrified owner, Linda Donnelly, from Paisley, said her pet's tongue was left looking like an enormous piece of steak hanging from her mouth.
She rushed her to the PDSA's PedAid Hospital in Glasgow for life-saving treatment.
Initially vets thought she was suffering from a tumour which had suddenly increased in size and warned Ms Donnelly that her pet was unlikely to pull through.
Vet Dermot Mullen said the shock of the ordeal alone could have killed the 18-year-old pet.
But while Penny was under anaesthetic, Mr Mullen spotted the aorta and managed to cut it free.
"I am just pleased I was able to save her. The prognosis was not at all good.
"It was very hard to see down her throat because of the size of her inflated tongue but once I saw the fibrous ligature, the cause of Penny's problem was clear.
Ms Donnelly said she was "absolutely devastated" when her dog started to choke.
"It all happened so quickly," she said. "One minute Penny was okay, the next she was stood in front of me with what can only be described as a monster-sized tongue hanging from her mouth with blood pouring out everywhere.
"I hadn't a clue what had caused the swelling at that point as she had eaten the pig's heart hours before. She has eaten these many times in the past without any problem.
"When Dermot told us what had happened I felt awful. She has them as a treat now and again but I never for one moment thought anything like this could have happened. Pigs' hearts are now completely off the menu."