A VET has released horrifying X-rays which show why you should never throw a stick for your dog.
Expert Amy Gaines issued the urgent warning after Sammie the Springer Spaniel was left needing surgery – when she swallowed a 30cm stick.
The 11-year-old was left in agony after the branch became lodged in her throat.
Owner Nicola Botham told how she was playing with her beloved pet when it nearly turned to tragedy.
She rushed Sammie to the vets where x-rays showed the stick wedged between her jawline and shoulder.
She was rushed in for a two-hour op and the piece of wood was successfully removed.
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The pooch is now recovering from her ordeal at home in Newcastle Under Lyme, Staffs.
Bank worker Nicola, 55, said: "It was the worst few hours of my life."
She told how she forgot Sammie's ball so began hurling sticks and watched as she ran back and forth.
But Sammie soon fell gravely ill after wolfing down the plaything and was rushed to vets.
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Nicola added: "They had managed to get the stick out without causing any internal damage and I was able to collect her that night.
“Once I got Sammie home she got back onto the sofa and never moved.
"We were lucky, but I want to warn other dog owners about the dangers of throwing sticks – I will never throw one again.
“Sammie on the other hand doesn’t seem to have learnt from the experience, on her next walk the first thing she did was pick up a stick.
“I took it straight off her and threw her a ball instead.”
Vet Amy Gaines said: "If a dog runs into a stick at an angle it can pierce through soft tissues and also shatter and splint on impact.
"As well as injuring their mouth, sticks can also pierce their chest and abdomen if they run onto it.
"Playing with sticks is a bad idea and it can also encourage dogs to chew on them, which ends up with them swallowing splinters, which can lead to infection.
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"We know dogs love to play fetch, but the best approach is to use a suitable ball or toy and never a stick."
It comes after a vet issued an urgent warning to dog owners after a common treat left a puppy seriously ill.
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