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Vets warn dog owners against playing fetch with sticks

Posted by: David Howells  Date: 02/07/2013   Category: Latest News

Dogs owners who play fetch using sticks found in the park have been warned by vets that this could cause serious injury to their pets.

According to the dailymail.co.uk, Robin Hargreaves, president elect of the British Veterinary Association, said he operates on one dog a month with injuries that have been caused by sticks.

Sticks can tear the insides of a dog’s mouth and splinter off, causing infections and a great deal of pain. Splinters can also go unnoticed, until the dog becomes very ill and anorexic. If these infections go untreated, these injuries could result in death.

The most common injury takes place when a dog runs towards a stick in the ground, as the stick is forced down the dog’s throat – which can cut its tongue or even its gullet, reports telegraph.co.uk.

Mr Hargreaves said: “It is very painful. Imagine ramming a toothbrush at the end of your mouth except it is spiky and sharp.”

That doesn’t mean pets have to stay in their dog beds though – vets simply advise you to use soft balls or rubber toys instead of any sticks that can be found in the park.

Retrievers, collies and labradors are the worst-affected dogs, as thousands of them are admitted to surgeries every year due to stick-related injuries.