By Courtney Sherwood
PORTLAND, Ore., Sept 4 (Reuters) - Veterinarians who operated on an ailing 140-pound (64-kg) Great Dane in Oregon removed 43-1/2 socks from its stomach in an emergency surgery that likely saved the pooch's life, an animal hospital said on Thursday.
The 3-year-old canine, who had an affinity for chewing on socks but was not known to swallow them whole, was rushed to Portland's DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital in February, hospital spokeswoman Shawna Harch said.
"We see some very strange things, but this is by far the most socks we've ever pulled out of an animal," Harch said after X-ray images of the dog's belly won a tongue-in-cheek veterinary industry prize called "They ate WHAT?"
DoveLewis will use the prize money to fund emergency care for pets of low-income animal owners, Harch said.
The Great Dane appeared to favor lush, colored socks in smaller sizes, images of the retrieved items showed. The sock-devouring pooch's owners are keeping the hungry dog's name private, Harch said.
"His owners wish to remain anonymous," she said. "But they are getting a kick out of the award." (Reporting by Courtney Sherwood in Portland, Oregon; Editing by Eric M. Johnson and Sandra Maler)