Puppies are well known for their ability to gnaw through pretty much anything, from dog toys and tennis balls to chair legs and expensive pairs of shoes.
However, 11-month-old border collie Jack bit off more than he could chew last weekend, when he swallowed a rock weighing nearly half a kilo.
When Jack became lethargic, began vomiting and was reluctant to walk on Sunday evening, his owners rang Dr Stephanie Allison at Balgownie Veterinary Hospital worried he was suffering the early signs of tick poisoning.
With the peak Illawarra tick season about to start, Dr Allison advised them not to wait until morning to have him examined.
But when Jack arrived at the vet, his X-rays revealed a large mass in his abdomen and he was rushed into surgery where his doctors discovered the huge rock stuck in his small intestine.
Three days later, the hungry pup is recovering well.
However, Dr Allison has used Jack's experience to encourage dog owners to be on the lookout for ticks, which she said would be particularly prevalent this year after months of warm weather and this week's heavy rain.
She said the main signs to watch out for included weakness in the legs, muted barking, noisy breathing, coughing, gagging or vomiting and loss of appetite.
"We urge pet owners to protect against potentially deadly ticks all year round and to use a product that's aimed at killing and repelling ticks," she said.