Dogs and Stick Injuries

Pet Health

HIF Australia

Video Transcription

(Hif chewing on a stick)

Dr. Melissa Meehan: Oh Hif! I thought I told you about the risks of chewing on sticks.

Hif: Sorry Dr. Mel I just can’t help it! Sticks are just so much fun to chase and chew on!

Dr. Melissa Meehan: Oh I know but sometimes you just can’t do everything that you wanna do. You would be surprised at the number of stick injuries that I’ve seen at the clinic. I mean just last week there was a dog that came in with a splinter (demonstrates the size of the splinter) that big embedded in its throat.

Hif: Ouch! You know you're right, that reminds me of when I was a puppy and I tried to catch a stick mid air, I ended up with a nasty cut in my mouth and that hurt a lot! I had to go to the vet and have surgery to fix it (shakes his head) not my finest moment…

Dr. Melissa Meehan: Exactly! That’s why chewing on sticks or using them to play fetch is so dangerous. You know the worst case i’ve ever seen was a dog that had a stick this thick (demonstrates the width of the stick) that it had impaled it, through the abdomen. It went in here (demonstrates where the stick entered the abdomen) and came out near its groin.

Hif: (Gasps in shock)

Dr. Melissa Meehan: I know but miraculously it missed all its vital organs and after surgical removal the dog walked away ok.

Hif: Oh geez that sounds rough! What should the folks at home do if their dogs been playing with a stick and something goes wrong.

Dr. Melissa Meehan: Well stick injuries happen really quickly and they can be very obvious or they can be subtle. One of the more subtle but common injuries is where a small part of the stick gets stuck on the roof of the mouth here (demonstrates on Hif where the stick can be lodged). Really distressing for the dog and the owner but relatively hidden. Other injuries that can occur are where fragments of stick become embedded in the soft tissue of the mouth. I saw you gnawing on a stick before, so you better be careful.

Hif: (Nods in agreeance with Dr. Mel) Sorry about that.

Dr. Melissa Meehan: And again…I know you’re getting in trouble alot here but, like what you did, dogs commonly will be chasing sticks and try and catch them mid air - they can get a lot of injuries with that too.

Hif: It was a good catch though…

Dr. Melissa Meehan: Hif! Stop promoting it.

Hif: Sorry Dr. Mel

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