THE team at Toowoomba Veterinary Hospital are no strangers to retrieving strange objects from the bellies of pets.
Even they were shocked when Casper the cat turned up for the third time after swallowing a toy bullet in a medical emergency reminiscent of an episode of TV's My Strange Addiction.
"We've pulled all sorts of weird and wonderful things out of dogs, but cats tend to be reasonably discerning about what they eat," vet Paul Sheedy said.
The ravenous feline first came to the surgery as a six-month-old kitten after his owners noticed him vomiting and avoiding his food bowl.
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Casper's best friend was a young boy who was a deft hand with a Nerf air gun and the cat was the home's chief bullet retriever.
Unfortunately, he developed a taste for the foam objects.
One became lodged in his gut and caused a total obstruction but Casper was sent back home in perfect health after surgery and two days on a drip.
A month later, he was back under the scalpel to recover another missing Nerf bullet.
"He kept swallowing them, but they only get so far," Dr Sheedy said.
He was sent back home again and the offending gun was locked away in a cupboard to prevent another trip to the vet.
However, Casper managed to find one last bullet that was presumably lodged behind a couch and he was back in surgery again.
"We haven't seen him for a few months now so hopefully that will be the end of it," Dr Sheedy said.
It was far from the only bizarre case Dr Sheedy has seen in recent months.
Five-month-old shah pei puppy Yogi took the bait in January and got two of his owner's fishing lures stuck in his mouth after sniffing through a his tackle box.
In February, Frankel the whippet came off second-best in a fight with a kangaroo and had to be treated for a punctured lung.
And last year there was another strange case when Kaisa the Staffordshire bull terrier got up close and personal with a bee hive and received 100 stings for his efforts.
"We see some very interesting cases," Dr Sheedy said.
The pets are now fighting fit and have hopefully learned their lessons.
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