Throwing sticks for dogs can be fatal, vets warn

After a one-year-old dog needed emergency treatment after biting onto a stick he grabbed when playing with his owner, PDSA vet teams are warning owners of the hidden dangers sticks can pose. 

English Bull Terrier Cross, Scooby received treatment at Portsmouth PDSA Pet Hospital when disaster struck, whilst enjoying time in the garden with his loving owner, Louise. 

Louise said: "We were playing together in the garden, and Scooby loves to jump up. All of a sudden, Scooby jumped up to snatch the stick and disaster happened." The stick got stuck in the roof of Scooby's mouth.  

Louise continued: "Blood started pouring from his mouth and began to pool on the floor. He didn't even yelp or cry out in pain, he just went quiet and withdrawn. I scooped him up and took him inside straight away." 

Thankfully the bleeding appeared to come to a stop, however Louise was very concerned and contacted the team at PDSA for help. 

Louise was told to head to the Pet Hospital, where the team saw Scooby immediately. After a thorough examination, Scooby had a lucky escape and was able to go home with an anti-inflammatory pain relief injection and further medication.  

PDSA Vet Nurse Nina Downing spoke on the dangers of sticks: "Chasing and playing with sticks might seem like lots of fun for your dog, but many owners are unaware of the horrible injuries they can cause. Sticks can impale your dog if they get lodged in the ground after being thrown or cause nasty cuts in the mouth and throat which can bleed a lot, as well as longer term problems from splinters.  

"In the worst-case scenario, should a stick impale your dog, the injury could be fatal. It's difficult to watch our dogs all the time but we should try to encourage them to play with pet friendly toys instead." 

Thankfully, Scooby returned home to his caring family and made a full recovery. 

Scooby is an important member of the family. Louise has a strong bond with Scooby, adopting him at 11 weeks old after losing her dog Buster. Everyone in the household suffered from losing Buster, but thankfully Scooby found his way into their hearts, helping them all deal with their grief. 

Following the tragic incident, Louise stops Scooby from playing with sticks and keeps an eye out for any in the garden. 

Louise said that she couldn't thank PDSA enough for helping Scooby and for supporting her pets in the past. 

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