A smiley squeeze-toy being removed from the stomach of a Labrador is the image that has taken the joint top spot in the British Veterinary Association’s (BVA) second annual photo competition, which saw almost 500 entries from vets across the UK offering a unique insight into the daily life of a vet.

Mandy Knight, an Australian-born small animal vet, won in the ‘You and Your Work’ category with her photograph “Happy Enterotomy” that captures the moment the squeeze-toy was taken out of the dog’s stomach.

Mandy said: “We knew from radiographs that he had eaten a ball, but it was a lovely surprise to make the incision into the stomach and have this happy little chap beam out at us! We have such a cool job as vets, and this just nails it.”

The title BVA Veterinary photographer of the year was also awarded to mixed-practice vet Jen Rowland in ‘The wonderful world of animals’ category, with a photograph of rare and native North Ronaldsey and Dartmoor sheep grazing under the Milky Way in Northumberland.

Jen said:

“I was very lucky to get this shot as it was a single thirty second exposure - I had some very cooperative models!”

Winning images were chosen based on their technical excellence, originality and how much they fulfilled the brief.

British Veterinary Association President Gudrun Ravetz said:

“The veterinary team is uniquely placed to capture the many wonderful facets of its work on camera, and we are pleased that our members have shared their eye-catching snapshots for BVA’s photography competition, offering us a vet’s-eye-view of their daily work and interaction with the wonderful world of animals.”