A German Shepherd was rushed to the vet after eating three feet of Christmas tinsel.

Eight-year-old Benji had to undergo major surgery when X-rays showed 80cm of the sparkly Christmas decoration inside him.

Owner Olivia Mullen, 24, says she was shocked as it was completely out of character for her dog to eat anything from around the house.

The animal care assistant said: ‘This is the first time he’s ever done anything like this. He doesn’t even go after shoes or toys, so it was a total surprise.

‘The tree wasn’t up yet and he had actually gone rooting through a box. I was working and my mum called me to say he had eaten some tinsel.

‘I see poorly animals on a daily basis at work, but when it came to my own dog, I was an absolute mess … I was so upset and worried, but I knew he was in the best possible hands.’

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Thankfully, Benji’s injuries are healing well and he is now at home.

However, David Owen, lead emergency vet at Vets Now’s Manchester hospital, has warned that shiny tinsel can be ‘very attractive to both dogs and cats’ and anything stringy can be ‘extremely dangerous’ if swallowed.

He added: ‘In veterinary medicine, we call this a linear foreign body. If the tinsel anchors itself in the stomach, it can’t then pass through the intestines and can slowly cut through the tissue like cheese wire.

‘This can cause severe damage to the pet’s intestinal tract.

‘If you suspect your dog or cat has swallowed tinsel, or anything similar such as ribbon or thread, don’t wait for signs or symptoms to appear before you act.’

Vets Now claims it will see a 70% rise in cases around Christmas and New Year.