We always warn dog owners not to throw sticks for their dogs, however tempting.
The story of Zak, a very lucky collie, demonstrates exactly why. After playing with sticks in the park last weekend, his owners suspected he had hurt his mouth as he did not want to eat. Zak came into the consult room looking quite dejected and drooling. Sticks will often cause injury to the back of a dog’s mouth, either via splinters or sometimes puncture wounds but there was nothing visible on inspection of his mouth at that time.
To have a better look, Zak was sedated and a 1cm puncture wound was found at the base of his tongue. The only clue that there was something inside was a small amount of wood visible just inside the wound. We had no idea this was actually an 18 cm stick that had lodged in between his windpipe, oesophagus (food pipe) and carotid artery!
Zak has now recovered from his adventure, he had a very narrow escape and had the stick punctured at a different angle things could have been a lot more serious for him. To view all of the images as well as the offending stick go to our facebook page here.