Dog owners have been warned about throwing sticks for their pets, a leading vet has warned.
A smooth collie called Maya sparked the call for caution when she got a 10cm stick stuck in her throat, puncturing her tongue and displacing her voicebox.
Even when the initial wound is treated, splinters of wood have often got stuck and require subsequent operationsBritish Veterinary Association
The stick was so deeply lodged that owner Catherine Pryde, of Gartcosh in Lanarkshire, wasn’t aware how serious the problem was until a vet removed the piece of wood.
Sarah Stevenson, of Bishopbriggs Veterinary Centre in Glasgow, told The Times: “Stick injuries may not be initially obvious and may cause long term problems.”
Speaking to The Times, president of the British Veterinary Association in Scotland, Grace Webster, said: “Throwing sticks for your dog can be dangerous and lead to horrific injuries that can be very distressing for both you and your dog, such as causing cuts to their mouths and tongues or, as in this case, getting the stick lodged in their throat.
“Even when the initial wound is treated, splinters of wood have often got stuck and require subsequent operations.”
The British Veterinary Association’s former president Robin Hargreaves has previously campaigned for owners to be advised against throwing sticks for their dogs.
However, TV presenter Ben Fogle described the advice as “health and safety gone mad”, adding: “Use your common sense. Accidents can happen. I wouldn’t throw a whole branch, but a stick is a time honoured, natural way of playing outside with your dog.”