The Scottish Mail on Sunday



SIX-month-old Staffordsh­ire bull terrier Frankie needed 68 pebbles removed from her stomach in May following a walk on Bracklesha­m beach in West Sussex with owner Samantha Turner.

Samantha, a 44-year-old beautician who lives near Chichester, says: ‘It was cold and Frankie was wearing a coat, so I couldn’t see her stomach. But she kept lying down on the way back. We just thought she’d overdone it.’

Yet, after returning home and being fed by Samantha’s 49-yearold husband Charles, Frankie spewed up four pebbles.

On removing her coat, the couple could feel the remaining ones in her stomach. Even though it was a Sunday evening, Samantha managed to arrange an immediate vet’s appointmen­t and, following an X-ray, emergency surgery was performed.

Given the treatment took place out of hours, the bill came to £3,000. But, fortunatel­y, Samantha had insurance with Petplan. The lifetime policy, which costs £38.36 a month, has a £7,000 annual vet fees limit and so covered the entire bill minus a £100 excess.

Samantha is so pleased she had cover. Her view is a blunt one: ‘If you can’t afford insurance, you shouldn’t own a pet.’

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