Dog owner left with £800 vet bill after splinter from stick made neck swell up like “tennis ball”

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A DOG owner was left with an £800 vet bill after a splinter from a stick made her pet’s neck swell up like a “tennis ball”.

Evette Mckeown has urged dog owners not to let their dogs play with sticks after being left with the pricey surgery bill yesterday.

The 46-year-old today revealed that her black Labrador Buddy skewered himself with splinters whilst out on a walk in October.

Buddy after the operation
The splinter then caused a lump the size of a “tennis ball” to grow on Buddy’s neck.                             (C) Evette McKeown

At the time, vets gave one-year-old Buddy the all clear after bookkeeper Evette pulled out a splinter from her pet’s gums.

But then weeks later, Evette spotted a lump on the side of his neck and was given anti-inflammatories by vets who suspected Buddy may have an infection.

The lump initially went down to the size of a golf ball but started to swell up again shortly after.

Buddy then had to go in for surgery yesterday where another splinter was found stuck inside his neck.

Evette, from Maidenhead, Berkshire, took to Facebook yesterday to warn other dog owners about the dangers of allowing their pets to play with sticks.

She said: “A few weeks ago Bud ran with a stick and he got it stuck in his gum. I pulled it out, and there was lots of blood. 

“He was checked over by the vet and all looked fine and the gum healed well.

“A couple of days later a lump appeared in his neck and his neck folds were hanging down slightly. 

“I returned to the vets and they suggested anti-inflammatory to start with to see if it was just an infection rather than start prodding around hunting for something that might not be found. 

“However, last week it grew to the size of a golf ball, so I returned to vets and he was booked in for surgery to remove it. 

“It grew to the size of a tennis ball over the weekend. 

The bloodied stick
Blood spouted from the poor hounds gums after Evette removed one of the splinters.                           (C) Evette McKeown

“Today he had a piece of stick removed, which we suspected could be a splinter. He has a drain in his neck also.

“Obviously no sticks are allowed now and this is just a reminder of the trauma, fright, worry and not to mention the cost. 

“Sticks are bad, he’s my third Lab in my whole life and none have had a stick incident in the past until now.

“Not to scare anyone but they are dangerous.” 

The post attracted dozens of comments from pet owners wishing Buddy a speedy recovery. 

One user said : “I hope he makes a speedy recovery.”

Another wrote: “I’m so glad he’s on the mend. I’ve heard so many horror stories involving dogs and sticks. 

“I’m always reminding my little girl not to throw sticks for the dogs because of the dangers of them.

Another member commented: “I’m so pleased he is on the mend.”

Whilst another added: “Thanks for sharing, I hope he gets better quickly.” 

Speaking today, Evette said: “I’ve been a dog owner all my life and I’ve never had a stick incident until now.

“It appears to have broken off the stick and gone down his throat.

“Never again will I allow my dog near a stick.

“The stress, worry and costs are not worth it. Dogs don’t need sticks to enjoy a walk.”