Fetch can be fatal, British vet warns
A London veterinarian has come out against fetch — or at least the age-old practice of throwing a stick for your dog to retrieve.
Professor Dan Brockman, of the Queen Mother Hospital of the Royal Veterinary College, University of London, suggests dog owners instead use rubber throwing toys, Frisbees or tennis balls.
Sticks, he says, can be deadly, and they cause as many injuries to dogs as cars.
“Many injuries are minor but some are horrific,” he said. “They range from minor scratches to the skin or lining of the mouth, to paralysis of limbs, life-threatening blood loss, and acute and chronic infections.
“The problem is that sticks are sharp – and very dirty. That means that, as the dog runs onto them or grabs them in its mouth, the end of the stick can easily pierce the skin, going through it to penetrate the esophagus, spinal cord, blood vessels or the dog’s neck.”
In addition to the bacteria, fungi and yeasts they might be covered with, sticks can break and small pieces can get stuck in the throat, said Brockman, who led a recent study of acute and chronic “stick injuries” in dogs.
Posted by John Woestendiek December 30th, 2008 under Muttsblog.
Tags: bacteria, break, dan brockman, dogs, fatal, fetch, Frisbees, games, hazardous, health, lodged, play, queen mother hospital, royal veterinary college, rubber toys, sticks, tennis balls, throat, university of london, veterinarian, veterinary