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Sticks are dangerous to dogs (sensitive content warning)

Published on October 31, 2023.
Last Updated October 31, 2023.
Stick injury in dog back leg at SASH
This is why your dog shouldn't play with sticks

This is the leg of Milo, a 2-year-old Labrador who unfortunately, impaled himself on a stick while playing ball in the yard. The stick went through his back left leg. On presentation to SASH, Milo was bright, alert and happy and still able to walk on the affected leg. Given these signs, his expert team, Dr Julia Sumner, Specialist Surgeon and Dr Sarah Leber, Surgery Resident, suspected a fairly superficial injury.

Milo was prepped for surgery with Dr Julia Sumner and Dr Sarah Leber, and under general anaesthesia the stick was successfully removed.

Stick post surgical removal
The offending stick, measuring almost 30 centimetres

Upon recovery, Milo was discharged on the same day. 2 weeks post surgery, Milo had made an excellent recovery and is back living his best life!

2 weeks post surgery in dog following stick injury at SASH
two weeks following surgical removal from stick injury

Sticks seem like an easy alternative to a ball or chew toy, but the risk is far greater than a bit of fun. Sticks can cause infection in the mouth if chewed. If ingested they can break or splinter and cause life-threatening risk to the throat, intestines and internal organs such as the stomach and bowel. Due to their sharp shape, they can pierce or impale various parts of the body.

Always opt for the safer choice which is an appropriately sized chew toy, made with durable, clean and pet safe materials!

If your pet sustains an injury whilst playing with a stick, it’s important to seek emergency care. SASH Emergency is open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

About the Author

Natasha Rizk

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SASH is home to some of Australia’s leading specialists and veterinary experts. If you have any concerns about your pet, please get in touch with us.

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