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A 3-year-old Great Dane was miserable when its owners took him to an emergency animal hospital.
X-rays showed a stomach full of "a large quantity of foreign material" and nearly two hours of surgery later, Dr. Ashley Magee had the answer: The dog had consumed 43 1/2 socks.
DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital spokeswoman Shawna Harch said it's perhaps the strangest case in the hospital's history. So strange that the hospital entered a contest sponsored by the vet magazine, Veterinary Practice News, and won a prize.
Fittingly enough, the contest is called "They Ate WHAT?"
The $1,500 first-place winner was a Plano, Texas, animal hospital that treated an exotic frog that ate more than 30 small ornamental rocks from its cage.
The Portland hospital's entry summary says the Great Dane went home a day after surgery.
Tom Hallman Jr. of Oregonian.com described the Great Dane's symptoms this way: Imagine eating five large pizzas in one sitting.
During the surgery, Hallman reported that the vet must have thought she was working in a department store as she pulled out sock after sock after sock and in the end, Dr. Magee removed 43 1/2 socks. No one knows what happened to the other half sock.
The Portland hospital won $500 for second place in the contest and the money will help low-income people pay for vet bills.
Critical thinking challenge: What could have happened to the other half of sock?