Dog needed emergency surgery following a game of fetch

Nottingham pooch back on all four paws for Christmas, thanks to vet charity PDSA.

A Staffordshire Bull Terrier needed emergency surgery after a stick pierced his mouth during a game of fetch. But thanks to PDSA’s charity vets, he’s back home with his family and will be recovered in time for Christmas.

Owner Danielle Knight (34), was walking her one-year-old Staffie, called Dre, when terrifyingly, she heard him yelp loudly.

Danielle said: “I rushed over to him and I was shocked to see blood coming from his mouth but thankfully the bleeding soon stopped and he seemed OK and we went home. But the following morning, his tongue and neck had become extremely swollen, and I noticed more blood. I immediately called Nottingham PDSA for help, and they told me to bring him in straight away.”

Upon arrival at the hospital, Dre was in a lot of pain so PDSA vets admitted him so he could be fully examined, scanned and x-rayed.

PDSA Vet, Suzy Shuttleworth, said: “Once Dre had been given pain killers and put under anaesthetic, we discovered a large area of swelling under Dre’s jaw and a hole under his tongue. We were shocked to discover a 1-inch piece of stick lodged under his tongue!”

After an extremely intricate operation, and a nervous wait for Dre’s owner, the procedure was successful and the stick was removed. He was able to go home with antibiotics, pain relief, and close monitoring.

Vets removed part of a stick which was lodged in Dre’s mouth

PDSA vets are warning that the accident underlines how dangerous throwing sticks for dogs can be. The charity sadly sees stick-related injuries across its 48 Pet Hospitals regularly, and is encouraging people to avoid throwing sticks. Playing with, or even just chewing sticks can lead to wounds in the mouth and throat, sticks getting lodged in the mouth, choke hazards or intestinal blockages.

Suzy added: “We love to see people exercising their pets, but we’d encourage pet owners to use safer alternatives to sticks which you can buy from most supermarkets or pet shops.”

Danielle said: “When the vets called to let us know Dre was OK, our whole family breathed a huge sigh of relief. But we were stunned to discover the stick from an innocent game of fetch had caused so much damage to poor Dre without us realising!

“We had been extremely anxious and emotional about Dre going through surgery, but thankfully after he’d recovered, we were able to collect him from the Pet Hospital. We were so pleased to have him home and recovered for Christmas and it’s thanks to PDSA.

“I’d encourage all pet owners to keep sticks well away from pets to avoid injuries. Had it not been for PDSA, we could have lost Dre. We had only adopted him this year and would have struggled to afford the cost of surgery, but thankfully, we were eligible for PDSA’s services. We cannot thank the team at Nottingham PDSA enough.