An encounter with a Christmas decoration nearly led to a disastrous festive season for this Yorkshire terrier puppy.

Mischievous Charlie got in a mess after he rummaged through his owner's bin in Plympton, near Plymouth, and swallowed a discarded Christmas star.

When Charlie's owner, Felicity Clifford heard him retching, she suspected he had swallowed a chicken bone.

But vets at the PDSA PetAid hospital in Durnford Street, Stonehouse, X-rayed him and found the star lodged in his throat.

Charlie was placed under general anaesthetic while PDSA senior veterinary surgeon Robert Newcombe extracted the star using forceps.

Mr Newcombe said: "The last thing I expected to see on the X-ray was a star shining back at me.

"I've seen some odd things in my time as a vet, but this is by far the strangest X-ray."

Ms Clifford said: "Charlie's always getting into mischief. I was shocked to see just what he'd swallowed."

Charlie has made a full recovery but his case underlines PDSA figures which show Christmas calamities account for the biggest share of winter woe for pets.

Last year, the charity recorded 11,000 injuries over Christmas and New Year.

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