HEALTH TIPS, PART FOUR
Longtime STAR member Monnie Fishel, an evaluator for the Alliance of Therapy Dogs, spent many years visiting nursing homes and other venues with her Labrador Retriever, Buddy. You can see Buddy relaxing, below. Here’s why she doesn’t throw sticks for her current dog, Goose.
This is the best advice I can give anyone for playing with your dog. Never throw a stick for them. I almost lost mine because I didn’t follow this advice.
Let me tell you what happened.
I was throwing a stick for Buddy and, as he went to grab it, he jumped back and wouldn’t pick the stick up. I didn’t think too much of it at the time. I figured he was just tired of playing.
Later that night, I noticed he was drooling quite a lot, and not acting right. I took him the ER clinic immediately.
They took him in the back to sedate him and check out his mouth. Shortly they came back and motioned me to the back. The vet showed me the inside of Buddy’s throat. He had a large gash from above his right tonsil down, across his throat and up the other side. It tore out his right tonsil.
It seems when he went to catch the stick, it came down point first and he drove it into his mouth and tore his throat. I was lucky that it didn’t bleed. Some terrible wounds in animals don’t bleed.
Since this happened to my dog, I have heard that this is not an uncommon accident with dogs that play fetch with sticks.
Please be careful and find better, safer ways to play with your dog. I will never play fetch with sticks with any of my dogs, again.