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A warning to all dog owners: The dangers of sticks!
Serious Illness in Pets
Member Name: benz2922
Serious Illness in Pets
Date: 04/11/11, updated on 05/11/11 (69 review reads)
Disadvantages: Can cause fatal injury
After an hour of searching this is the only category that I can find relating to the topic I want to write about and as I can't add a suggestion in this category I am going to proceed to write my review here as I find it important to share my experiences with other pet owners so that they can be warned of the dangers. This will be an on-going review as the illness of the dog progresses and hopefully gets better. (I will gradually add to it)
**A little bit about my dog **
Alfie is a boisterous 2 year and 8 month old cross bread. We bought him as a puppy from our local rescue centre around 2 years and 4 months ago. It is not known exactly what bread he is but the mother was a lurcher and the father is not known but the rescue centre told us they believe that the father could have been a bedlington terrier. (This would explain my Alfie's ever growing curly locks!) Alfie is one speedy animal and if we are not getting comments on how impressive he is people stop and stare at him crossing the field at point blank speed whilst other dogs ponder in the corners with their owners.
**04.11.2011** - On Wednesday this week, 2 days ago, Alfie was on his regular afternoon walk with my partner which involves some games of fetch and a general run around to tire him out for several hours. We have always used sticks with Alfie, there is no shortage of them in the park and with such a big and excitable dog a tennis ball will last him all but 10 minutes'. So there they were at the park and as Alfie is so fast he really enjoys beating the speed of the stick (which is fast) to catch it before it falls to the ground. On the last throw of the stick before they were due to go home Alfie had caught up with the stick and had managed to catch it in his mouth. At this point my partner tells me that her recalls Alfie yelping, he ran over but by the time he reached him he seemed fine so they proceeded home.
Once home Alfie refused to eat or drink and just lay on the grass shaking. When I arrived home I found him in the garden with slobber leaking down the side of his face. We managed to bring him into the house and my partner told me his concerns that part of the stick could be lodged into his throat. Upon examining the outside of his throat he would yelp at my touch. We agreed that he needed to go to the vets so we had to take him to an all-night one as it was getting rather late at night.
Upon examining him they didn't feel anything was stuck in his throat so he was given a pain injection and told to go back the following morning. Upon waking up in the morning I noticed that Alfie had a tennis ball sized pocket of fluid building up in his throat and his breathing was off. Upon taking him back to the vets we feared the worst. The vets kept him in that day and were planning major surgery and warned us that it could be fatal. In the afternoon we got a phone call from the vet and the operation had been completed.
The stick in question had ripped through the inside of Alfie's throat and right through his muscle tissue causing a pocket to form. This pocket was filling with fluid and it had also become infected. It was and still is very much touch and go, the stick could have damaged a nerve or artery but there is no knowing just yet. Alfie is back home for today, he has had to have a hole put into the outside of his throat which we have to drain regularly and he has been given antibiotics. He is due for a return visit tomorrow to fully discover the extent of his injuries. He still hasn't eaten or drank anything and he's not himself. I just prey everything will be ok.
I will keep the review up to date as treatment progresses. The reason I felt the need to write this review now is to warn people about the use of sticks. I would never have thought them to cause any harm and now I know it's not worth the risk. Rubber toys, tennis balls and you can even buy rubber sticks; all would make a great alternative. Please think twice before picking up that stick, it could cause a fatal injury.
**05/11/2011** Alfie has just arrived home from the vets today bringing excellent news with him. He was extremely lucky that the stick didn't damage any major nerves or artery's and he is well on his way to making a full recovery. He's still not back to his normal self but he has managed to eat a small amount of food and he even attempted to chase a bird in the garden earlier. We as a family have been through a lot of heartache over the past couple of days and we still have a rough couple of weeks ahead. Although Alfie will make a full recovery it could have turned out so differently which is why I will again mention the dangers of sticks. Thank you for reading my review/experiences and I hope people will listen to the message. Please don't use sticks.
Summary: Not worth it - Please don't do it