A DOBERMAN pup’s recovery after he developed a twisted stomach has been described as ‘a miracle’.

Two-year-old Winston was diagnosed with the condition after his owner spotted that he had stopped eating.

Chelmsford Weekly News:

X-ray - a scan of Winston's stomach before his operation

A twisted stomach can be fatal within hours but Winston was luckily rushed to the Basildon PDSA Pet Hospital and was taken straight into emergency surgery.

His owner, Stella Braycott, 56, said: “He just wasn’t himself and I didn’t know what to do.

“After the vet examined him, they discovered he had a twisted stomach and I was told that his chances of surviving were very slim.

“I was in shock and the thought of losing him left me in floods of tears.”

Hannah Johnston, a vet at the pet hospital, added: “We were really concerned about his symptoms.

“He had tell-tale signs of a twisted stomach.

“We knew immediately that we had to act fast, as this can kill a dog within hours if left untreated.

“Winston was immediately prepped for emergency surgery to untwist his stomach, but because of his deteriorating condition the anaesthetic he needed posed a much higher risk.

“We prepared his owner for the worst but we were determined to do everything we could to save him.

“The surgery went as well as it could have, and we also placed some internal stitches to secure the stomach to the body wall to try and prevent it from twisting around again.”

A thankful Ms Braycott, after Winston’s recovery, was thankful for the vet’s work, and has now entered Winston into the PDSA pet survivor awards to recognise his survival spirit.

She said: “I’m so glad to have my best friend back home safe and sound.

“I feel that Winston is a miracle dog for surviving.

“The treatment and care he received from PDSA was fantastic and I’m so very grateful that they saved his life.”

Ms Johnston urged owners to watch out for the signs of a twisted stomach, citing behavioural changes such as drooling, retching, anxious behaviour, attempts to stretch or restlessness, and a swollen or hard stomach.

how to prevent a twisted stomach in your animal. She said: “It’s really important to keep an eye out for any changes in your pet’s behaviour, especially if they are a higher risk breed.

“Signs to look out for include drooling, retching or trying to vomit without producing anything, anxious behaviour and attempts to stretch or restlessness, and a swollen or hard stomach. “

The annual PDSA awards recognises pets which have survived against the odds.

For more information on the awards, go to www.pdsa.org.uk/petsurvivor.