Vet warns of sticky situation for dogs

Vet nurse Louise Bardon with a very happy Finn after his stick ordeal.

A vet from a leading practice in Yorkshire has issued a warning to pet owners after encountering a sticky situation involving a playful pooch.

Finn, a four-month old chocolate Labrador was taken to Calder Vets by his owners after he had a painful encounter with a stick.

The inside of Finn’s mouth was swollen and red.
The inside of Finn’s mouth was swollen and red.

The puppy had been out with his owners when he picked up a stick and immediately started whimpering. His owners gently took the stick away from him and noticed it had blood on it.

He behaved normally for the next two days, then became quiet and lethargic, so he was brought to Calder Vet’s Dewsbury Hospital.

Finn was lightly sedated so the inside of his mouth could be examined and lead veterinary surgeon Natalie McQuire noticed redness and swelling on the roof of his mouth, towards the back.

He was then anaesthetised so X-rays could be taken. Luckily for Finn, there were no serious injuries caused by the stick, only swelling.

Natalie said: “All dog owners know that their pets will pick up almost anything in their mouths as they are such playful creatures by nature.

“But sticks can be extremely dangerous for them and serious injuries are sadly quite common. Fragments of stick can become embedded in the soft tissue around the mouth and neck, which can lead to abscesses forming weeks or even months later.

“In this case, thankfully, Finn was not badly injured, but he was unwell and in some discomfort.

“Our advice is to never throw a stick for your dog, and if you see yours with a stick in its mouth, do what Finn’s owners did, and gently take it away from them.”

When he recovered from the anaesthetic, Finn was given anti-inflammatory drugs to reduce the swelling and was soon well enough to go home, with instructions to eat soft food for several days and to stay away from sticks.