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Dog Owners Warned That Throwing Sticks Can Cause 'Horrific Injuries'

20/01/2016 14:28 GMT | Updated 20/01/2016 14:59 GMT

Dog owners are being warned of the dangers of throwing sticks for their pets after a rise in number of "horrific injuries".

Animal lovers are being urged 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.

dog catching a stick

Dog owners are being warned not to throw sticks for their pets

Grace Webster, president of Scotland's British Veterinary Association, said that splinters caused by the wood could cause problems later in life, if not an immediate injury.

She told The Times: "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."

The advice came after a collie named Maya got a 10cm stick stuck in her throat, puncturing her tongue and damaging her larynx.

Sarah Stevenson, of Bishopbriggs Veterinary Centre in Glasgow, who treated Maya, said she had seen an increase in cases of dogs being injured from sticks.

She said: "Stick injuries may not be initially obvious and may cause long-term problems. For these reasons we are warning pet owners against throwing or encouraging their dog to play with or chase sticks."

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