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Could one of your dog’s favorite activities actually be potentially harmful for your pooch? Veterinarian Dr. Courtney Campbell joins The Doctors to reveal that throwing a stick for your dog could be dangerous.
“When we think of dogs, we think of sticks, but could throwing a stick be bad for your pet?” ER physician Dr. Travis Stork asks.
“I think all of us know that dogs love playing with sticks and they’ve been playing with sticks since the beginning of time. Unfortunately, they’ve also been getting injured since the beginning of time as well.”
But how much harm could a stick really do? More than you might expect, says Dr. Campbell.
“We’ve seen situations where sticks puncture their throat, their esophagus,” he shares. “I’ve even had a malamute, eight months old, who punctured the trachea. Air started to escape from the trachea underneath the skin. The poor guy started to blow up like a balloon. These can get very, very serious.”
Dr. Campbell warns that if an owner believes their dog is injured after fetching a stick, even if it appears minor, to seek the help of your veterinarian immediately. He also reminds dog owners of the various safer substitutes for sticks.
“There’s plenty of alternatives, plastic sticks, rubber balls, rubber sticks,” he continues. “Whatever toy you pick, you have got to supervise them.”
Dr. Campbell jokes, “Cats actually luck out because they feel like they’re too good to play fetch.”
Next time your four-legged friend wants to play fetch, opt for something safer than a stick!