A regular walk on the beach ended up costing a Havelock North dog owner $2800 in vet bills.

Two Saturdays ago Anna Spurgeon's husband was walking their nine-year-old chocolate lab Chessie along Ocean Beach - when she swallowed a fish-hook.

Although it's an off-lead zone on Ocean Beach, Spurgeon said they usually put Chessie on a leash when walking past fishing lines.

However, on this occasion she was walking slightly ahead and noticed another dog along with its owners who were baiting up a longline.

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It took hours for the fish hook to be removed from Chessie's stomach lining, costing a total of $2,800. Photo / Supplied.
It took hours for the fish hook to be removed from Chessie's stomach lining, costing a total of $2,800. Photo / Supplied.

"Within the next minute she saw the bait on the ground, went for it, ate it and it was all attached to the longline, hook and all. She had to have emergency surgery as the hook had gone right down and got caught in her stomach lining."

After an extensive amount of time on the surgery table at the vet clinic, Spurgeon said Chessie was making a strong recovery and was beginning to eat again.

"The vet told us it was pretty fiddly getting the hook out of her stomach lining.

"We're not having a go at the fishermen because they were really great and tried to help as much as they could. I think they were quite shocked and upset as well.

"It would just be good for people to have some awareness . People need to be really careful about leaving fishing equipment on the beach."

Spurgeon said she did not have pet insurance as it was the first time an incident like this had ever happened.

"It's definitely something I'll consider because she's nine years old now and it might be a good thing to have for other things."

While her tummy may still be a little tender, Chessie was slowly getting back to her normal self, begging for food and is going for walks on a lead.

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"As she's a little older, she's not bounced back as quickly as what she normally would, but she's getting there slowly."