Stick to safe toys

Over the past month, we have been seeing an increased amount of stick related injuries in the clinic. In particular, we have seen sticks that have been lodged horizontally across the roof of dog’s mouths. Although fun to play with sticks can cause serious injuries such a puncture wounds, and can even require extensive surgery to remove tiny fragments stuck inside.

In one of our cases the patient presented extremely distressed and was trying to remove the stick himself by pawing at his mouth. One of our vets was able to see him and a sedative was given to relax the patient before administering a general anaesthetic. Once anaesthetized the stick was carefully removed as to avoid breakage. The patient was administered an injection of antibiotics to avoid infection as the stick had pierced the top layer of his mouth. The patient recovered well and woke up a lot more comfortable, and was able to go home that day. Luckily our patient did not have any long-term effects from this episode and his owners were able to get him to us quickly.

If you have a dog that likes to play and can run for miles, we recommend using toys that are solid and do not break apart easily. In both our cases the dogs had access to sticks while exercising on the beach. Please take care when exercising your dogs and take note of what they are wanting to play with and substitute with something that is much safer. Every toy used while in play should be given to your dog with supervision and should not be left when you are finished. Some alternatives to use while in play could be Frisbees, balls, or your pets favourite chew toy. Stick to safe toys