An emergency veterinarian is warning dog owners about a tragic case he encountered this week. A ball who the beloved family pet played with for years became lodged in the back of his throat and blocked his airway. By the time the dog arrived at the emergency veterinarian, he had turned purple and was extremely weak.
Tragically, the dog’s heart stopped during emergency attempts to remove the ball.
Toy balls are very common for pets and are fun and generally safe. The biggest problem, as it occurred here, is to make sure the ball is the appropriate size for your dog. Here are some guidelines to help keep your dog safe. If your dog can fit the entire ball in his mouth, it is TOO SMALL. The ball should be small enough for him to pick up and carry, but big enough that it doesn’t fit completely in his mouth. This reduces the risk of swallowing it or choking.
The ball pictured above appeared to be an appropriate size for an 80-pound dog; “it was also the perfect size to lodge into the back of his mouth, become stuck over the base of his tongue and occlude the pharynx completely,” the veterinarian wrote.
The hospital team tried very hard to save this dog, and everyone was a bit shaken afterwards. The owner blamed herself and cried with her two young children in the room. It was an accident, and it wasn’t the owner’s fault, but a tragedy like this can be avoided if every dog owner takes into consideration the size of the toys we give to our pets.
Rest in peace sweet dog.