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Vets Now, the emergency Out Of Hours vets with 32 clinics across the UK is issuing a warning to dog owners about the dangers of throwing sticks, following a recent case in which a dog was admitted with horrific injuries following a trip to the park. Commenting on the case; Karen Booth, Senior Veterinary Surgeon at Vets Now in Telford said; “Throwing sticks for dogs to chase can result in horrific injuries and each year, many dogs are killed retrieving sticks which are thrown for them.
Archieboy, a 14 month old Lurcher Collie from Woodside near Telford, was brought into the clinic by his owners, Mr and Mrs Watson, on the evening of Friday 4 July following a particularly nasty encounter with a stick in the park. Mr and Mrs Watson’s daughter, Leanne, had let Archieboy off his lead for a run around Rough Park at Ironbridge when she heard a loud scream. She ran over to him and Archieboy was collapsed on the ground with no apparent injury. On closer inspection she found that the stick had disappeared completely inside his body and so the family rushed Archieboy immediately to their daytime practice which referred them to the Vets Now Out of Hours emergency clinic in Telford.
Upon arrival, the team discovered that the stick had extended all the way down to where the oesophagus, resulting in a huge tear. The team anaesthetised Archie immediately, removed the stick and gave him supportive care with IV fluids, antibiotics and lots of pain relief before beginning a course of intensive treatment. The area was too traumatised to treat with surgery at the time; however, by the Saturday, the Vets Now team were able to see the full extent of the damage as the initial trauma had settled down and they were able to place the first feeding tube. Archie received intensive treatment over the course of the weekend with tube feeding and medication and by the Monday, he was able to receive surgery to repair the torn oesophagus.
Commenting on the case; Karen Booth, Senior Veterinary Surgeon at Vets Now in Telford said; “Throwing sticks for dogs to chase can result in horrific injuries and each year, many dogs are killed retrieving sticks which are thrown for them. The most common injury is caused by the stick tearing through the throat and ripping the oesophagus, like we saw in Archie’s case; however, we have also seen cases where the stick rips upwards through the mouth, or penetrates the dog’s eye and we have even seen cases where the stick has gone right through the dog’s torso. We would strongly advise any owner against throwing sticks for their dog to retrieve and instead throw toys such as balls and Frisbees. Not only do the injuries cause a huge amount of pain and suffering to the animal, these type of accidents can also cause infection and long term internal damage in many cases, death.”
Speaking about the Archie’s run in with the stick, owners, Mr and Mrs Watosn commented; “Archie is a real livewire, and he often picks up sticks and runs with them when we’re out for a walk. I had no idea that this would ever result in such a horrific accident and we were horrified when we saw his injuries. The team at Vets Now were absolutely amazing and Archie received such wonderful treatment and care while he was with them. I’m not sure he would have survived had it not been for the Vets Now team and we’re absolutely delighted he’s back on the mend, although obviously we are concerned about the long term internal damage the accident has caused.”