A DEVASTATED pet owner says her dog died after pieces of a cheap toy became lodged in its stomach.

Lynn Barton, from Laffak, raised her Labrador Maddie from a puppy after her dog Tia gave birth to a litter.

The beloved pet, who was a “huge part” of the family, became ill last week when her stomach became “bloated and she began vomiting up pieces of plastic”.

After the family took Maddie to a vet, she was then rushed to specialist veterinary hospital Rutland House in Sutton Leach.

They told Lynn that the plastic that Maddie had vomited – which they had kept to review – had come from a £2 pet toy Lynn had purchased at Christmas from B&M on St Helens Retail Park.

The broken plastic pieces from the Christmas penguin toy had pierced Maddie’s intestine and a “crinkly” bag inside the toy was blocking off the poor pet’s stomach, causing her a lot of pain.

Despite an operation, resulting in vet bills of £5,000, Maddie was too poorly to recover and she died on March 1.

Lynn now wants to warn other pet owners of the dangers and get similar toys off the shelves.

The 54-year-old grandmother-of three said: “We have been left devastated and heartbroken by Maddie’s death. She was a huge part of our family.

“Her mum Tia and sister Molly are not eating properly since she died. I have had to explain to my young grandson why Maddie isn’t around.

“I don’t want anyone else to suffer the heartbreak and loss that we have and hope that by raising awareness no other innocent pets won’t die.

“We watched her come into the world and hand fed her every two hours.

“She was so special to us and now our poor girl is dead.”

In a response to media reports about the incident, B&M urged pet owners to supervise their pets and take away any damaged toys.

They said: “The safety of our customers and their pets is upmost importance to us. We believe this to be an isolated incident and all other products are safe.

“We always recommend that if a pet toy becomes damaged from use, you should take it off your pet for their safety.”

Gerard Tennyson, senior vet at Rutland House who took care of Maddie, said: "We recommend that pet owners buy toys for them from recommended retailers which most dogs, apart from the very big ones, would not be able to chew through.

"Any damaged toys should be disposed of or replaced and pets should be supervised while playing with them.

"The inside of the toy in this case acted like a cheese wire. Until Maddie was with us and on pain medication she must have been in pain."