The danger of sticks
The danger of sticks
Think sticks are good, free toys for dogs?
Do you throw sticks for your dog to fetch? Do you let your dog chew sticks? Lots of people do, and lots of dogs love to fetch and chew sticks, right? You see it all the time at the park, on the beach, and in yards.
‘She jumped to catch the stick and she sort of sword swallowed it and it went down her throat and mangled her insides. All happened in about 1 second. Unbelievably fast and so damaging. She collapsed instantly and started to bleed out internally and went into shock. The stick was lying beside her covered in blood when I got to her..’
Here’s just a sample of the types of injuries that sticks commonly cause:
- Splinters in a dog’s tongue and/or gums
- Punctures of the roof of a dog’s mouth, or even their throat
- Impalement in a dog’s eye
- Penetration of a dog’s chest, with resulting damage to their heart and/or lungs
Every year many dogs suffer significant pain and injuries from sticks, and that some dogs even die from their stick-related injuries. It’s true – and it happens far more frequently than you might expect. Want some proof? See the many stories at the end of this article.
Fortunately though, with awareness and some simple preventive steps, you can protect your dog from such a fate. Of course, not every stick-related injury is preventable, so it’s also important that you be aware of the steps you should take in the event that your dog does suffer from one. Read on to learn what you need to know to best protect your dogs from the many dangers of sticks.
‘When a stick she was playing with went down her throat and caused the most awful damage to her insides. She nearly died in my arms and after major surgery including a blood transfusion and a week in Intensive Care, she finally came home today. She has been through the most hideous time and we want to raise awareness of the danger of sticks to dogs.
‘Mine never have sticks after my girl got a splinter down her throat major surgery but she pulled through thanks to a brilliant vet hope your girl makes a complete recovery paws crossed.’
‘Even though we didn’t throw a stick for our staffie , she grabbed one whilst out and now has a 2″ tear in her throat! After nearly thinking she was dying by the amount of blood pouring out of her mouth and a very quick rush to the vet. She is now recuperating and feeling very sorry for her self. This is the second time she has done this! And now a grand total of £675 to our lovely life saving vets! Be warned sticks cost you shit loads!’
‘Turn your back for five minutes. My 17 week old just managed to drag a big stick from under our hedge.
Heard her yelp, then she was gagging.
Think the stick poked the back of her throat.
Given ice, called the vets ( said only take her in if she gags again or seems uncomfortable) looks and can’t see any cuts or blood!!
Any reassurance, worried sick.’
From Arran Vets’…
‘Stick injuries in dogs are extremely common but very much to be avoided . Throw balls or frisbees instead . Here are two recent identical tongue wounds caused by sticks in two different dogs. Both needed a general anaesthetic, flushing and suturing . Signs included not eating, gulping and salivating, sometimes with blood. Owners commonly don’t see the accident happen and there may be no symptoms for a couple of hours. Often a jagged and dirty piece of stick gets driven into the tongue or pharynx and later causes an abscess under the neck. In the worst cases the oesophagus can be torn which can be fatal.’
Why you shouldn’t let dogs play with sticks:
- Dogs love sticks, but sticks don’t always love dogs!
- Dogs are frequently injured from chewing sticks or chasing sticks
- Both chewing and chasing sticks can cause severe and potentially fatal problems.
- If your dog impales himself on a stick, immediate veterinary attention is critical.