PORTLAND, Ore. — 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 43½ socks.

DoveLewis Emergency Animal Hospital spokeswoman Shawna Harch said it’s perhaps the strangest case in the hospital’s history, The Oregonian reported.

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. Fittingly enough, the contest is called “They Ate WHAT?”

Even stranger. 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.