Dangers of sticks
Throwing sticks at the park is considered a normal past time, however the stick can become like a spear and penetrate into the dog causing serious injuries.
We have seen many cases where surgery is needed to remove the foreign object.
Maisey ran after a stick that was being thrown away to avoid her playing with it. However she ran after it and it stabbed her in the back of throat, she spat out 50cm of stick. After bringing her to Swan Street Vet, she had X-rays performed, it was found there was part of it lodged in her neck!
Specialty surgery was required to safely and completely remove the 10cm long stick from her neck. She was extremely lucky and has recovered fully from her ordeal.
This photo shows the entry point of a stick under her tongue and the X-ray shows were it was lodged in her neck.
Another case is Oscar, where a stick was thrown, he ran after it and it went through his paw pad and got lodged in his leg. Again he was extremely lucky to not obtain any permanent damage and the stick was removed surgically.
As you can see Oscar’s left hind leg is very swollen and the X-ray again shows where the stick is.
Sticks can also cause dental issues, get lodged in between the teeth of the upper jaw, causing damage to gums and the roof of the mouth. There is also the risk of internal damage if your dog likes to chew and swallow sticks.
We encourage the use of safer toys such as the alternative options below. Rubber or rope toys are not only safer, softer but more durable and less likely to cause injury. They need to be large enough that your dog can’t swallow them and if they break, should be replaced.