Dog Care is important to us all so in this post we discuss the dangers of sticks.
The Dog Bus does not recommend dogs to be allowed to fetch or chew sticks. As professional dog walkers in the Manchester area dog care is critical to us and we strongly advise that dog owners do not allow pooches to play with sticks if you want to avoid potential injury or big vet bills.
Dog care is as important while out and about you should consider the dangers of letting dogs play or fetch sticks. The Dog Bus's dog walking service policy to to avoid the dogs with us for dog daycare not being allowed to fetch or chomp on a stick.
Stick related injuries are more common than you may think. Every year many dogs suffer significant pain and injuries from sticks, some stick injuries are so bad dogs even die from them. You would be amazed at how many dog walking business owners actually not only allow but encourage stick throwing.
Sticks can injure dogs in a number of ways?
Typically a dog may sustain stick-related injuries in one of two ways: chasing or chewing.
Stick-chasing injuries are often more severe than the stick-chewing ones. However stick chewers also risk multiple problems, including mouth injuries caused by wood splinters stuck under their gums and other mouth tissue areas. Chewing can also result in obstruction of their digestive or respiratory tract with wood.
Here are some of the most common stick injuries.
Wood splinters embedded in the tongue, laryngeal tissues, and under the gumline next to the teeth.
Large wood fragments embedded between the upper teeth or along the surface of the hard palate, sometimes even embedded directly into the hard palate.
Wood fragments being swallowed which results in digestive tract irritation, bleeding, and potential obstruction.
Fragments of wood being inhaled into the trachea, leading obstruction, irritation, or infection. In some cases fragments can also lead to puncture of the trachea or lung tissue, resulting in a chest infection damage to the heart, nerves, or blood vessels.
Dogs who chase sticks frequently suffer more severe and more painful, debilitating, and expensive — injuries than the stick chewers. Especially when a thrown stick gets stuck in the ground and the eager dog either pounces or runs onto the exposed sharp end of it.
Other injuries include:
Eye: direct damage to the eye and if the force If the force of the penetration is significant, the stick can result in damage to your dog’s brain,
Mouth: penetration in the mouth can lead to damage to a lot of important structures, like the tongue, and palate (“roof”) of the mouth, teeth, esophagus, laryngeal and pharyngeal tissues and trachea.
Damage the nerves or blood vessels within your dog’s neck can also cause significant damage to sinuses or the brain.
Chest: Punctures to the chest can be severe. Especially damage to the heart and lungs, the chest also houses many large blood vessels, nerves, the diaphragm, trachea, and esophagus.
Abdomen: Penetration here can result in damage to multiple critical organs such as the stomach, liver, spleen, and intestines.
Worse, is that damage caused by a stick isn’t always indicative of the full extent of a dog’s injuries. Depending on the size of the wood, especially if it shatters or splinters upon impact it may not necessarily show up on X-rays.
What to do if a stick injury happens.
Well if your pooch is out walking while near one of the dog bus team, then we are animal first aider trained, so will be happy to try and advise or help, but otherwise the actions you need to take may vary depending on severity of the injury including your distance from a vet. Dog care is equally important to us and we will happily help where we can.
Any professional dog walker would recommend you get the dog to in for a veterinary evaluation and treatment as quickly as you can. Don’t delay and even call on the way to forewarn of the injury. Delay will just prolong any pain and increase your dog’s risk of death.
Avoid the urge to remove the stick. It is preferably safer to leave a penetrating stick in place, so that it can be removed and its path evaluated by the vet. It may actually be stopping a loss of blood or a lung from collapsing. Obviously on the way to the vet try and stop the stick getting caught on anything during transport. If you need to reduce the size then only cut the protruding end of the stick, but only if you won’t cause too much vibration or movement, Beware thou that trying to snap or saw the stick may dislodge the stick and cause further damage and may delay your arrival at the vet hospital.
Try and wrap the protruding end of the stick with cloth material e.g. T shirt, towel or other bulky material to help stop it migrating further into your dog and causing more internal damage.
If the injury has resulted in a chest wound keep your dog lying upright rather than on their side during transport. This will help by allowing the unaffected side of their lungs to work as efficiently as possible if the other lung has been injured.
If you are looking for dog care facilities with a company you can trust contact the dog bus team today by clicking here