The fine weather is a good excuse to go for a long walk with your dog so that you can both enjoy some exercise and fresh air.
Dogs love open spaces where they can run around and investigate and most dogs love to run and retrieve balls, frizzbees, sticks etc that their owners have thrown for them. However, even a game of fetch needs to be played with caution.
Pet Doctors have seen an alarming number of “stick injuries” coming into our clinics - all of them having been caused by freak accidents.
For example a dog was brought in bleeding badly from the mouth. He had picked up a stick, was running along with it and then somehow one end had hit the ground and the other went under his tongue causing a large laceration wound.
In another case, a dog jumped up to catch a stick that was being thrown to it. Unfortunately, the stick went to the back of the dog’s mouth resulting in severe bruising to the soft palate. In a similar incident, the stick ruptured the dog’s soft palate causing excessive bleeding and a large piece of wood, which was lodged in the hole caused by the stick, had to be surgically removed.
Another dog jumped up to catch a stick only for the stick to rip the dog’s throat. This not only resulted in excessive bleeding but also caused shock and damage to the dog’s tonsil and vocal chords so that he can hardly bark now.
Fortunately in all the above cases the dogs made a good recovery.
If your dog is injured by a stick, it is important to get your dog to a veterinary surgeon as quickly as possible to prevent any further damage or infection.
General advice is to be a little more wary of sticks in the future. Use your dog’s favourite ball or rubber bone to play fetch instead.