Vet warns against throwing sticks for dogs after puppy suffers 'life threatening' injuries

14 May 2019, 15:58 | Updated: 14 May 2019, 16:10

A vet has said playing fetch can be fatal for your pooch
A vet has said playing fetch can be fatal for your pooch. Picture: Getty
Naomi Bartram

By Naomi Bartram

A game of fetch is loved by most dogs and their owners, but one puppy almost died after a freak accident...

A vet has issued dog owners a stark warning to think twice about playing ‘fetch’ with their pets after one Labrador was almost killed.

Pauline and Pete Cook were walking their one-year-old puppy Corona through the woods when she started chewing on a 6-inch long stick.

The couple then began to play tug of war with the piece of wood but unbeknown to her owners, Corona ended up swallowing some.

Later that same evening, her owners became concerned when the pooch was sick and they were forced to rush her to Paragon Veterinary Referrals, in Wakefield, West Yorkshire.

A Labrador from West Yorkshire almost lost her life after a game of fetch
A Labrador from West Yorkshire almost lost her life after a game of fetch. Picture: Getty

A CT scan revealed the stick had punctured her oesophagus and she was immediately operated on by vet Mickey Tivers who had to cut into the dog's chest.

Warning other owners about the dangers of ‘fetch’, Mickey explained: "Corona suffered a very nasty injury from the stick.

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“It was very serious, as the oesophagus does not always heal well and there was significant risk of infection."

Admitting he has seen the accident happen on various occasions, the vet revealed stick injuries “are not uncommon and can be very serious”.

“If the stick lands at the right angle, dogs can easily impale themselves and fragments of stick can remain in the neck which can lead to abscesses forming weeks or even months later,” he said.

"Our advice would be never to throw sticks for your dog as there is a real risk of injury.

"We would encourage owners to throw balls or other toys, or rubber sticks, which make an excellent alternative to their dangerous wooden counterparts."

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Corona’s worried owner Pauline has also opened up about the scary experience, applauding vet Mickey for saving their family pet.

"We're just overjoyed to have her back,” she said.

“We were heartbroken when we thought we might lose her. We will never throw a stick for her again."