A Petersfield vet is urging owners to stop their pets picking up fruit after saving the life of a dog choking on an apple.

Hebe, a 15-month-old cocker spaniel, is now safely back home after a chunk of the apple she wolfed down got stuck in her throat.

She was drooling, choking and terribly distressed when her worried owners Karen and Ben Crookshank from Clanfield rushed her to the St Peter’s Vets in Petersfield.

Vet Matt Tyler, who is practice clinical director, said: “If your pet picks up something in their mouth, always encourage them to swap it for a treat or toy rather than attempting to snatch it away from them, which is more likely to make the dog gulp it down quickly.”

Mrs Crookshank said the apple Hebe swallowed had fallen from a fruit tree in their garden during a gusty storm.

She said: “Hebe spotted one, grabbed it and ran off across the garden and swallowed it without chewing properly.

“When she started choking it was very scary and the apple was clearly stuck.

“She was making funny gulping noises and then she started retching and being sick.

“As soon as we got to St Peter’s they came to Hebe’s aid and we’re really grateful Matt was able to help her.

“He gave her the best possible care and she recovered very quickly afterwards.

“Matt showed us the apple and there were two chunks held together by peel, so it’s not surprising it got stuck.

“I’d hate for something like this to happen again, so I’ve picked every apple from our trees. I’ll also make sure we fence off the trees next year to remove any risk of temptation.”