File photo: Vets operated and found the 25 balls – most of them chewed up but one still complete. Picture: Reuters

London - Dogs aren’t known for being choosy about what they eat, but one doberman ended up with 25 tennis balls in its stomach.

Seven-year-old Stella was taken to the vet when her owner Colin Hutchinson noticed she was off her food. Vets operated and found the 25 balls – most of them chewed up but one still complete.

"How on earth Stella managed to swallow a complete ball, I don’t know," said Mr Hutchinson, from Sunderland.

"The balls weighed half a kilo. If she hadn’t been operated on that night her intestine could have ruptured and we’d have lost her."

Picture: YouTube.com

Hutchinson, a retired policeman, had feared that Stella had swallowed something poisonous. 

He added: "She loves chasing balls, but I’ve never lost one. The only thing I can think of is that she might have found them when we’ve been out at night." Mr Hutchinson, his wife Adele, and their three children are delighted to have their pet back to full health.