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    Vets warn dog owners against throwing sticks

    NewsGeneral Dog NewsMonday 01 July 2013
    Dog owners up and down the country are being warned that throwing sticks for their pets could cause ‘horrific injuries’. Vets are warning dog owners that this age old game of fetch could be dangerous and could even lead to dog deaths. 
    The reasoning behind this warning is that sticks can splinter in the mouth causing dogs to choke, bleed to death, or even develop a lethal infection. 
    This will come as sad news to dog owners, as throwing sticks has been a staple of dog walks up and down the country for years. 
    Vets are saying that owners should, instead, use fake bones, rubber balls or Frisbees. 
    Robin Hargreaves, president elect of the British Veterinary Association, told the Daily Mail that he operates on around one dog a month that has been seriously injured by a stick. 
    Speaking to the paper, he said: “Never throw sticks for dogs. Even if you do it now, never do it again. It is a violent incident that causes real damage.
    “We have horrendous problems. Imagine ramming a toothbrush at the end of your mouth, except it is spiky.”
    Most stick related injuries are caused by sticks jamming into the ground. When dogs run towards these sticks with their jaws wide open, they can stab themselves or tear their gullets. 
    Splinters are also an issue and can take numerous operations to remove, which can cost up to £5,000. The worst affected breeds are collies and retrievers, including labradors. 
    Hargreaves spoke of the issue, as vets have been guided to scan dogs more frequently in order to detect rogue splinters which might be killing them. 
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