A SCOTS vets has warned dog owners not to let dogs chew sticks after a pooch suffered horrendous injuries to his mouth.
Champion Vets in East Kilbride, South Lanarkshire published graphic images showing Enzo’s mouth jammed open by a piece of bamboo he found in his garden.
The two-year-old Cockapoo managed to get the stick wedged horizontally between his back molars – meaning he was unable to eat, drink or close his mouth.
Luckily his owners spotted Enzo struggling to breathe and panting. He was rushed to the vets where he was sedated and the bamboo removed.
Champion Vets have since shared images taken from inside Enzo’s mouth as a warning for dog owners to supervise their pets at all times.
The vets wrote: “Unfortunately have had another case of injury from a dog who has played with sticks.
“Sticks are not suitable play objects for dogs. They can often run and get their mouth and chests impaled on them, causing severe soft tissue injury that can be very hard to heal.
“As well as that, sometimes dogs can get them stuck in their mouths causing distress and injury.
“This wee pup was caught out after munching on a stick in the garden.
“It got bridged between his upper molars, meaning he couldn’t eat or drink or close his mouth.
“Thankfully his owners brought him down promptly so we could sedate him to remove it, but it’s clear to see the damage it has done to the roof of his mouth.
“Please ensure you give your dog suitable toys to play with, and supervise play at all times to prevent injuries.”
Hannah McIvor, the vet who performed the surgery, today said: “If a dog chews or chases after a stick which lands upright, it can go right through their esophagus. Luckily, on this occasion, his injury was at the mild end.
“The sharpened end can then cause unusual swelling and nasty abscesses.
“‘I’ve had dogs that have had to have four or five surgerys to get all of the stick out which is obviously a significant financial underlay for owners.
“We have dogs coming in with stick injuries probably every two months.”
Enzo’s owner, Donna McEntegart revealed today how she was left with a “three figure sum bill” following the incident.
The 49-year-old added: “He had managed to find a bit of bamboo cane out in the garden and must have been chewing down on it. It ended up so badly lodged in the back of his mouth, he couldn’t get it out.
“He was drooling badly and kept pawing up to his nose. He wasn’t happy at all.
“I managed to open his jaw and tried to move it but it just wouldn’t budge at all. It was wedged right in.
“The vets gave him an anti-inflammatory injection and he is fine now but everytime we’re out we’re just paranoid about what he puts in his mouth.”
Earlier this year, Scotland’s British Veterinary Association warned animal lovers to use rubber toys, balls or flying discs when playing “fetch” in order to help dogs avoid causing terrible damage to their mouths and gullets.
Grace Webster, the organisation’s president, said that splinters caused by the wood could cause problems later in life, if not an immediate injury.
She said:”Throwing sticks for your dog can be dangerous and lead to horrific injuries that can be very distressing for both you and your dog, such as causing cuts to their mouths and tongues or, as in this case, getting the stick lodged in their throat.
“Even when the initial wound is treated, splinters of wood have often got stuck and require subsequent operations.”