A horseshoe proved anything but lucky for a puppy after it got a bone shaped like one stuck on her jaw.

Eight-month-old Boxweiler Nancy was left badly distressed after struggling in vain to dislodge it.

And after owner Henrietta Barnard, from Kingsley near Bordon, couldn’t get it loose either, she rushed Nancy to the Vets Now clinic in Farnham where the team managed to free it under sedation.

Now Henrietta is backing vets’ calls to keep potentially dangerous bones away from pets.

“We’ve got Nancy and her sister Ottie and they are both softies who love playing with our three children,” said Henrietta, who lives in Kingsley.

“She chews a lot and at dog training they suggested we get her a knuckle joint. It was huge, so we didn’t think for a moment there would be any problem. But she managed to break a horseshoe-shaped bit off without us noticing until later that evening when it got locked in her mouth."

“It was trapped behind her front teeth and then hooked under her jaw. She couldn’t get it out and it was well and truly wedged. My husband tried to slip it free, but it was stuck solid and she was starting to scrape to get it off and getting in quite a state.”

Realising they needed urgent help, the couple arranged late night babysitting and, with Henrietta trying to calm their anxious pup in the back seat, rushed Nancy to the Vets Now Farnham clinic.

It’s one of more than 60 clinics and hospitals across the UK that are open seven days a week for out-of-hours pet emergencies.

“When Nancy came in, she was very distressed and panicked and we gave her some pain relief to relax her,” said vet nurse at Vets Now Farnham, Amelie Brewer.

“The vet and myself tried to prise the bone off, but it was obviously still causing pain. We gave her further quick-acting medication to sedate her and were able to prise it off after a few minutes.”

With Vets Now clinics seeing worrying numbers of similar incidents, vets are warning owners to be extra careful with bones and to seek immediate help if they can’t easily remove any that become trapped. Chewing bones is seen as a natural treat, but they can cause several problems, so it may be better to avoid them completely and choose a safer, specially designed chew toy.

“Nancy was a bit groggy when she came out, but otherwise none the worse thankfully,” said Henrietta.

“Everyone at the clinic was amazing and we were so grateful they were there when we needed them. We’ve totally banned bones now and bought really tough big chew toys instead as we wouldn’t want to go through anything like that again.”

There are more than 60 Vets Now clinics and hospitals across the UK that are open through the night, seven-days-a-week, and day and night on weekends, to treat any pet emergencies that may occur. All of Vets Now’s premises have a vet and vet nurse on site at all times.

Vets Now also offers an online video consultation service to make professional veterinary advice easily available from home. For more information, visit www.vets-now.com