A warning and a plea to all dog owners.

AdrianC

Well-Known Member
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.



 
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243 Stalker

Well-Known Member
Adrian,

Very sad news, but by you posting this thread hopefully others will be aware and avoid a potential similar outcome.
My cocker often finds golf balls which after reading the post he will not get back and instead go in the bin.

ATB 243 Stalker
 

Wingy

Well-Known Member
Very sad indeed. It is surprising what can happen, my Weimaraner often finds cricket balls and when he flops his lips over them it's difficult to see that he has something in his mouth at all.
Thanks wingy
 

Apache

Well-Known Member
Not a foolproof method, but in similar circumstances it can be almost impossible to grasp the slippery ball.

Pressure applied in a forwards direction behind the angle of the jaw may manage to push the ball forwards and clear the airway.
 

Steyer 6.5

Well-Known Member
feel real sad for that handler theres nothing like the bond with a dog. It is quite common where the dogs ball is too small in the mouth. My colleagues and eye all have over sized ball for our work dogs. another injury and on occaisons death is throwing the ball and the dogs leg splay apart on wet grass. tears in the chest and discolated shoulders.
 

countrryboy

Well-Known Member
That's tragic. the handler/trainer must be devestaed to lose a dog by such a freak accident.

Must admit i use tennis balls quite a bit for my dogs, never ever thought off that before

Another 1 i hate to see is poeple throwing sticks for there dogs to fetch, very easy to get impaled in the dogs mouth (i doubt will be fatal) but such a needless accident waiting to happen.
 

F41NXS

Member
Thanks for the post, appreciated
It must be difficult to write at this time, a dog becomes a family member as soon as it's brought into the home
 

steyr.308

Well-Known Member
Seen this some years ago with a large GSD dog at Plumbridge Valley RUC station. Upon entering the station the RUC officers were trying to dislodge the ball with a table spoon. They eventually took the dog to the vets only for him to die en-route. Shame really as he was a cracking dog! Since that day I have never let my dogs have tennis balls even though my lab can find a tennis ball whenever we are out!
 

srvet

Well-Known Member
Sadly not a one off. I can think of this happening four times that I have dealt with. Two survived. One was caused by the knot of a hide chew being swallowed whilst it was too big to enter the oesophagus. Sometimes the Heimlich manoeuvre can work, otherwise just as apache described try to push the obstruction forwards
 

mudman

Well-Known Member
As a last resort would it be possible to knick the front of the throat with a sharp knife and then puncture the trachea to make an air way ??

Golf balls are very dangerous for dogs, a neighbour lost his GSD to one.
 

AdrianC

Well-Known Member
As a last resort would it be possible to knick the front of the throat with a sharp knife and then puncture the trachea to make an air way ?? Golf balls are very dangerous for dogs, a neighbour lost his GSD to one.

If you know what you're doing and have the tools to hand I guess anything is possible but trying it on a struggling animal single handed leaves too much margin for error for my liking. Not something for an amateur or anyone without the knowledge of where things lie beneath the skin.

For the record, the handler did try and push up from behind but it obviously failed.
 

srvet

Well-Known Member
Tracheotomies are possible but trust me are not for the feint hearted. Cutting into the neck takes you close to all manner of important structures. If you need to do so always stick absolutely to midline. A nick in the jugular or carotid artery will definitely not help the dog survive
 

Apache

Well-Known Member
Tracheotomies are possible but trust me are not for the feint hearted. Cutting into the neck takes you close to all manner of important structures. If you need to do so always stick absolutely to midline. A nick in the jugular or carotid artery will definitely not help the dog survive

Quite.

Personally I'd say a big NO until the dog has lost consciousness. At that point the dog should be insensitive to pain and will be dead in minutes. Nothing to lose then.

Stay midline.
 

srvet

Well-Known Member
Quite.

Personally I'd say a big NO until the dog has lost consciousness. At that point the dog should be insensitive to pain and will be dead in minutes. Nothing to lose then.

Stay midline.

a big +1 on this comment, I should have added only when unconscious. But by then you don't have much time!
 
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