Vets who removed 43.5 socks from the stomach of a 64kg Great Dane in an emergency operation probably saved the ailing dog's life, an animal hospital said.
The three-year-old pet, whose owners knew he had an affinity for chewing on socks but did not realise he was swallowing some whole, was rushed to DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital in Portland, in the US state of Oregon, in February, hospital spokeswoman Shawna Harch said on Thursday.
"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 third prize a tongue-in-cheek veterinary industry prize called, "They ate WHAT?"
DoveLewis will use the US$500 prize money to fund emergency care for pets of low-income animal owners, Harch said. The Great Dane had appeared to favour lush, coloured socks in smaller sizes, the images of the retrieved items showed.
The sock-devouring animal'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."
First prize of US$1,500 in the "They ate WHAT?" X-ray contest, organised by Veterinary Practice News, went to an image of Kermit, a pet frog whose stomach was packed with more than 30 ornamental rocks.