I know many of us here own dogs and work with dogs.
An unfortunate incident occurred here where I work a few days ago.
One of our military working dogs, Bety was out with her handler being exercised and carrying out continuation training. As part of the training, positive reinforcement is used. When a dog does well it is rewarded with a ball.
On this occasion, the ball was thrown for Bety, she caught it on the up bounce and by a very freak chance, flew straight to the back of her throat at the perfect angle and became lodged in the pocket at the top of the throat, behind her teeth. She started suffocating. Her handler was on hand to pull the rope that ran through the ball. The rope came away leaving the ball still lodged firmly in the back of her throat. He tried in vain to free it but it was too far back, slick with saliva, held there by suction and the dog was biting as she struggled. He couldn't get his fingers around it nor through the hole where the rope came out.
After a short while she passed out and he ran with her to get a vehicle to go straight to the vets. As her muscles relaxed the ball came free with the motion of him running with her. He tried for ten minutes to resuscitate and revive her but unfortunately it was too late and she died before the vet could attend or she could be taken to the vets.
This was a freak accident. Bety was a small GSD for her breed and you would never have thought the size of the ball being used would've been able to pass all her teeth and go straight to the back of her throat, never mind stick there.
So, if you have a dog, please check the balls and toys you use with him or her. Make sure they are too big to be swallowed. Buy balls with ropes to assist removal if one does become stuck but make sure the rope is fit for purpose. Don't be complacent, this accident could've happened to anyone of us who own or work with dogs. Please be vigilant and be aware of what you use as you dog's playthings. If there is anything which you might look at in a different light now, bin it and buy something else.
Admin, I have placed the thread here as I hope it will be seen by more members than if it was placed in the dedicated dog forum.