• Mountain View Vet Surgery

Do you throw sticks for your dog to fetch? Read this to find out why that's a really bad idea.

Updated: Jan 30, 2019

What could possibly go wrong from throwing a stick for a dog? Well as it turns out, quite a lot.

When a dog is returning a fetched stick, it is not uncommon for it to hold the stick with one end of the stick in it's mouth, rather than having it evenly balanced by holding it in the middle. (Dogs don't think about this stuff! They just carry sticks).

If the far end of the stick contacts the ground in front of the dog, it's effectively a pole vault placement - the stick becomes fixed in the ground while the dog keeps moving forward, the end result being the dog gets impaled by the stick.

Here is a photograph on Flickr which illustrates this very point.

The patient in the picture below did exactly that and ended up with a tongue laceration. Sometimes it's much worse, with the stick penetrating the back of the throat or even the chest.

The patient below got off lightly, with a laceration to it's tongue, that extends nearly 7cm into the tongue

Tongue laceration from fetching and carrying a stick

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