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Warning to dog owners about throwing sticks

Ashlands Veterinary Centre in Ilkley are warning dog owners that asking your dog to fetch a stick may seem like a good, fun and safe game to exercise and entertain your beloved pet with, but I would like to warn pet owners that it is far more dangerous than they think.

Anne MacGregor, the practice manager explains more and shares the story of 9 month old Maggie May:

"At Ashlands Veterinary Centre we frequently see the other side of this activity and attend many canine companions who are brought to us with stick related injuries. The sort of problems we encounter, range from getting a piece of stick wedged across the roof of the mouth, which although easy to treat, in many cases will involve giving a sedative, right the way through to life threatening injuries."

"One recent example was that of Maggie May, a very lively 9 month old Spaniel pup, who went to retrieve a stick thrown by a family member. The stick stuck in the ground and Maggie May, in her enthusiasm, ran onto it, catching the underside of her abdomen on the protruding end."

"The following day Maggie became very quiet and seemed to be in pain. She was rushed to surgery and although the stick hadn’t penetrated the skin, it was found to have caused serious internal damage. She was rushed into theatre and underwent 3 hours of emergency surgery to have her damaged uterus removed and a hole in her colon repaired."

"Thankfully, she has made a full recovery. Not all dogs are this fortunate and some do lose their lives. It just isn’t worth the risk. Much safer to use balls or other suitable toys."


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