A Fife family whose pet was forced to undergo emergency surgery are urging fishermen to be more careful when discarding their hooks.
Giti Doggrell was walking her two labradors on Wormit beach earlier this month when she noticed seven-year-old Simba eating something.
She was horrified to discover a fish hook had become embedded in the base of her tongue.
The dog was rushed to the Provost Vet Group’s branch in St Andrews where she was sedated and the barb successfully removed.
Simba’s owners are now urging fishermen to be more careful when throwing away their old equipment.
Mrs Doggrell said: “I usually take the dogs out for a walk from our house to Balmerino and I pass the beach where I let them off their leads.
“I was walking along and I turned round to call on them. I kept calling Simba but she wouldn’t come and I saw she was eating something.
“I quickly ran towards her and I saw that something was stuck in her mouth which I later found out was a fish hook.
“It was attached to her tongue. I was trying to lift it out her mouth but I just couldn’t.
“It was awful. I actually thought I was losing her. She collapsed in my arms and she wouldn’t get up.
“I was praying so hard to Jesus that she was going to be okay and she perked back up. He answered our prayers.
“I managed to calm her down by putting my hand in her mouth and she was biting down on my hand but it stopped her from trying to yank the hook out.
“I called my husband because I didn’t have the number and they said to bring her through for an emergency appointment.
“When we got there they took her through because she kept yanking on her mouth and the vet said she could actually swallow the fish hook so they sedated her to remove it.
“Simba’s doing okay but I think she’s still a bit traumatised. She hasn’t actually gone that part of the beach where the fish hook got caught since.
“I probably won’t let her go there either because it really frightened me.
“I don’t think fisherman realise the impact that leaving their rubbish behind can have.
“Obviously no one would leave it deliberately knowing the damage it could do. It could have been a small child.
“You’re not supposed to drop litter and that’s exactly what this is and people are aware that they shouldn’t do it.
“They either do it out of selfishness or carelessness. They just don’t think about the consequences.”
Mr Doggrell added: “We’d like to give thanks to the vet Chloe and her assistant Amy because they really made Simba and us feel at ease.
“They let us stay with her which they wouldn’t normally do but it meant the world.
“Almost all sea hooks are barbed as well so going in is one thing but getting them back out is a whole other story.
“This one was baited which is why Simba ate it. It’s insane that a fisherman would leave that on the beach.”