PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) -- The 3-year-old Great Dane was miserable and retching when its owners rushed him to a northwest Portland emergency animal hospital.

It was something he ate!

X-rays showed a stomach full of "a large quantity of foreign material." Nearly two hours of surgery later, Dr. Ashley Magee had the answer -- the dog had consumed 43 ½ socks.

DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital spokeswoman Shawna Harch said it's perhaps the strangest case in the hospital's history, The Oregonian reported (http://is.gd/Zb55C9).

So strange that the hospital entered last February's tale, complete with X-rays, in an annual contest sponsored by the vet magazine, Veterinary Practice News, and won a prize. The contest is called "They Ate WHAT?"

This Feb. 2014 photo  shows socks that were removed from a dog’s stomach in Portland, Ore.
This Feb. 2014 photo shows socks that were removed from a dog's stomach in Portland, Ore. (DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital )

The $1,500 first place winner was a Plano, Texas, animal hospital that treated an exotic frog that ate more than 30 small ornamental rocks from its cage.

The DoveLewis entry summary says the Great Dane was discharged home a day after surgery. Harch says the owners aren't available for comment but she confirms the dog is alive. No word on what he's eaten lately.

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Information from: The Oregonian, http://www.oregonlive.com