A 3-year-old Great Dane in Portland, Oregon, ate 43½ socks, which made him sick. But he’s okay: His owners took him to the hospital, and the vet removed the socks through 2 hours of surgery. (DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital/Associated Press)

The 3-year-old Great Dane was miserable and gagging when his owners rushed him to an emergency animal hospital in Portland, Oregon, in February.

It was something he ate!

X-rays showed a stomach full of “a large quantity of foreign material.” Nearly two hours of surgery later, veterinarian Ashley Magee had an explanation: The dog had consumed 431 / 2 socks.

Shawna Harch of Dove­Lewis Emergency Animal Hospital said this was perhaps the strangest case in the hospital’s history.

It was so strange that the hospital entered the tale, complete with X-rays, in a contest run by a veterinary magazine — and the story won a prize. (Fittingly enough, the contest is called “They Ate What?”)

This X-ray shows the pile of socks in the dog’s stomach. (AP)

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

The DoveLewis entry says the Great Dane returned home a day after surgery. Harch said the pet’s owners weren’t available for comment, but she confirmed that the dog is alive. No word on what he has eaten lately.

— Associated Press