Stewkley dog owner warns of stick throwing after pet 'could have died' from injury

'The Vet Clinic were just absolutely amazing. I can't praise them enough'

Friday, 17th September 2021, 9:26 am

A Stewkley woman is urging other dog owners not to throw sticks after her spaniel was injured in an accident "that could have killed her".

Jess Corkett, 30, is hoping pet lovers will listen to her appeal, as her five-year-old spaniel Maggie had her leg impaled by a 28cm piece of wood.

Brave Maggie was rushed to The Vet Clinic, Hockliffe Road, Leighton Buzzard where she had an operation to remove the stick from her muscle and was able to go home that same evening (August 25).

Maggie after her operation (photo: Jess Corkett); and right, after the accident (photo: The Vet Clinic).

Jess told the LBO: "I'll never be throwing a stick again. You think it's never going to happen to you.

"It's unlucky but she's been incredibly lucky; if it had gone through her stomach or lung it could have killed her.

"I'll be carrying a tennis ball in my pocket from now on!"

Jess had taken Maggie to Stewkley Recreation Ground on the evening of August 25, where she was enjoying playing fetch the stick.

Maggie's x-ray. Photo: The Vet Clinic.

However, the last throw of the evening went horribly wrong, and Jess's mum was called to take them to the vets quickly.

Jess remembers: "We were just having a great game and she was chasing the stick and went to retrieve it and take it back.

"It bounced off the ground and she collided with it. It was timing of it - you couldn't do it if you tried.

"She was impaled with the stick but she was running in circles trying to get it and I just ran over and held her still. She was still wagging her tail."

Maggie before and after the accident. Photos: Jess Corkett.

Luckily for Maggie, the stick had missed a nearby artery so there was no blood, and Jess kept her calm on the way to the vets.

That evening, The Vet Clinic staff carried out an operation to remove the stick, and amazingly, brave Maggie was able to go home that evening.

Jess said: "The Vet Clinic were just absolutely amazing. I can't praise them enough.

"They operated on her on Wednesday night and by 11pm the same night she could come home."

The stick had lodged two-thirds of the way into the skin and muscle of Maggie's left hindleg, but the team were able to remove it before placing a drain.

Maggie was then back in for check ups on the Thursday, Friday and Saturday before the bank holiday, and she is still being monitored now and receiving pain relief.

Jess said: "You know there's a risk [throwing sticks] but you think it's never going to happen to you, because you don't hear about it very often.

"She also picks them up when we're walking, but that injury could have happened just as easily if she was running."

Jess would like to give a special shout out to Egbert DeVries, Hannah Becks, Paul Verschuerenand Julia Mendez from The Vet Clinic and thank them for all their help.

As for brave Maggie, she's on the mend and feeling more like her old self again!

Sarah Bennett, practice manager, told the LBO: "Maggie's injury is not uncommon so it was pleasant to miss vital organs, but we see it too often I am afraid so no shock faces here.

"There are lots of other toys and games to play with your dog in the park that are more beneficial than sticks. Kong do a safestix which is a rubber alternative to a stick if it is the shape they like. We see not only impaling injuries but also sticks lodged in the roof of the mouth, split tongue, choking and splinters in the gums – all unpleasant for the dog.

"Maggie is doing great and back to her jolly self. I think it was a harsh and expensive lesson for the owner who was brought up from her family throwing sticks and then this has continued with her young family also."