Australian pet owners have been issued a stern warning about a popular dog toy after several pooches had their jaw caught inside it and required urgent medical care to have it removed.
The “dangerous” rubber chew toys are sold in major Australian retailers including Kmart, Target, and Big W, and have loops capable of trapping part of a dog’s mouth.
Two dogs in as many weeks were delivered to Dublin Veterinary Hospital in Ireland suffering as a result of the same item, prompting an urgent call for the toys to be boycotted.
“Please do not buy this type of bone for your pup! It’s not worth the risk,” a Facebook post, shared with graphic photos, by the vet on Friday said.
“This is the second dog in the last two weeks that we’ve had come in to our hospital with this type of bone stuck around it’s mandible. Separate companies but the exact same design.”
Another dog’s jaw had to be cut free from a similar toy in the United States earlier this year, after a distressed pet owner presented her canine to a fire station for help.
Wrenthan Fire Department in Massachusetts attempted to remove the toy with a hydraulic cutter but were unsuccessful so took the pooch to nearby Tufts Vet.
“At first the vet staff had a very difficult time trying to get the object dislodged,” a post from the fire department said.
“Eventually, they were able to sedate the dog and cut it off with a cast cutter.”
Dr Simon Ilkin at Kirrawee Vet in Sydney said owners often made uneducated selections when it came to choosing what toys were appropriate for their dogs.
“It’s pretty common that have people come in with all sorts of things caught in their dog’s mouth,” Dr Ilkin told Yahoo News Australia.
He said store-bought toys including fluffy bears, balls, and rubber tubes, often had to be “pulled out” after they were ingested by people’s dogs.
“A big issue is when owners don’t adjust their dogs’ toys when they grow - many get their dogs toys as puppies but don’t switch them around when they get bigger,” Dr Ilkin said.
“They would be better off getting fluffy toys, but it’s all about getting appropriate sized toys for each individual pet.”
Dr Ilkin said he most often dealt with toys that were swallowed by dogs and that caused obstructions, rather than ones stuck around the oral cavity.
“If they get a stick injury, it can perforate the inside of their stomach and chewed up bones can do the same thing,” he said.
“They can get caught between the sides of their teeth and we’ll need to lever them out.”
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