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SOUTHEND United player Marc Laird is relieved his “mad dog” survived to tell the tail after it swallowed 10 Brillo pads.

The midfielder’s five-year-old boxer, Kia, needed two hours of complex surgery to remove the pads last Monday but is on the mend after having the stitches out on Wednesday.

Mr Laird said: “It’s just mad. She’s a really funny dog. She’s got a funny character.

“She doesn’t even chew.”

The hungry hound became unwell after apparently wolfing down the pads as Mr Laird’s girlfriend Lindsey Crow was cleaning their oven.

Mr Laird, 25, became concerned when the usually perky pooch failed to welcome him home after the Blues’ game against Bury on Saturday, December 1, and they took him to a vet on Monday.

Vets first thought objects in Kia’s stomach revealed by an x-ray were tin foil, but after two hours under the knife they pulled out a full pack of Brillo pads.

Vet Claire Nicholls, of Southfields Veterinary Surgery in Cheshire, where Mr Laird has a home with Miss Crow, said: “It’s a ridiculous thing for a dog to eat.

“Brillo pads are pretty unusual. You would have thought it would be horrible to get past the teeth.”

Ms Nicholls, whose own dog used to eat socks and who has treated other dogs after eating a swimming costume and even a chair leg, warned Kia could have been serious injured.

The pads could have caused an obstruction or ruptured her intestine, which could have killed her.

Mr Laird usually feeds Kia dried dog food and occasionally chicken breasts and rice, but her unusual appetite has resulted in items going missing before.

Three years ago she ate one of the footballer’s recovery pads, a synthetic material tube about the size of half a trouser leg used to help athletes recover after competing.

Mr Laird is just happy Kia survived the ordeal and that he had pet insurance to cover the £800 bill.

He said: “I’m delighted. She means the world to me and my partner.

“It was just a genuine accident.”