Leafy, a gorgeous three-month-old springer spaniel puppy was referred to us by her veterinary surgeon as she had impaled a stick through her mouth whilst playing.
Leafy came to us as an emergency and was seen immediately by our Soft Tissue surgical team, she was very tentative and clearly in pain when she moved and especially when her neck was manipulated.
Leafy was anaesthetised and she had a CT scan that identified that the stick had penetrated the back of her mouth and into the back of her neck, at the cervical vertebrae. Luckily it missed her spinal cord by millimeters.
During the surgery the stick was identified between two cervical vertebra and carefully removed by the surgeons. The Soft Tissue Surgery and Neurology and Neurosurgery teams joined forces to perform the emergency operation on Leafy. Donough Healy one of our Residents in Soft Tissue Surgery was supervised by one of our Specialists Matteo Cantatore, which was a great opportunity for a Specialist in training.
Leafy was nursed back to health with our amazing, dedicated nursing team and monitored day and night. She was discharged from hospital two days later to the care of her family and local veterinarian.
Leafy’s owner said: “It’s a day I’ll never forget. I had just retired from work and had only been home two hours – so not exactly easing into a restful retirement! I was playing with Leafy and watched it all happen. She picked up a fine ribbed bamboo stick ‘end on’, threw her head up and then plunged it forward to the ground!
“The team at Anderson Moores were absolutely brilliant in caring for Leafy, who is fantastic now. I’m very grateful and I’d definitely recommend them. Stick injuries are very common and can be life-threatening. The mouth and throat are extremely delicate and sticks can result in dogs suffering some terrible injuries. At this time of year when sticks abound, I would urge owners to keep an eye on their dogs when they instinctively try to pick up a stick. I’d also encourage use of toys such as tug ropes.”