A DOG had to be operated on after swallowing a family of toy cats.

SNOWY the West Highland Terrier ended up on the operating table... after swallowing a family of toy cats.

The X-ray, right, taken at Cromwell Vets in Huntingdon, shows Snowy is in touch with her inner 'felines' as one of the small ceramic cats peers out from her stomach.

The owners of the one-year-old became concerned after she was sick and stopped eating.

Samantha Reed, of Wyton-on-the-Hill, said: "We were really worried. Snowy is a much-loved member of this family and we feared the worst."

At first, the vets were baffled and thought Snowy was reacting badly to her dog food, so they asked her owners to try her on a diet of rice and chicken.

When the new diet failed to work the vets carried out urine samples believing it to be a kidney problem, but when these test results were given the all-clear, they gave Snowy a course of antibiotics.

It was only when the vets carried out an X-ray of her stomach that they discovered the problem - five toy cats lodged in her belly.

Nigel Belgrove, a partner at Cromwell Vets, said: "It is a rather unusual case and one of the most unusual X-rays I've ever seen. We could clearly see a cat inside her stomach."

The five cats, which vary in size with the tallest measuring 5cms, included a father cat, a mother and three kittens.

Mrs Reed, 42, who lives with her husband Mick, 42, and children Danielle, nine, Alan, 10, David, 12, and Brian, 13, added: "We're not sure where she found them, she must have dug them up in the garden."

She said Snowy had made a good recovery and was now a much happier dog.