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Tennis balls


I just wanted to let people know how dangerous tennis balls can be for bigger dogs.  My dog Cody a 3 year old chocolate lab almost chocked to death on one.

We were at the dog park and Cody is a little goofy for tennis balls, he would try and get 3 in his mouth, mainly so the other dogs don't get em I think.  Well one day about a year ago, he was doing his thing getting all the tennis balls he could.  I was watching him as I chatted with some people.  I looked over at Cody and it looked like he was choking on something, I figured it was something like some bark on the balls he was obsessing over but in the back of my mind I feared the worst.  I walked over to him and I could tell something was wrong.  He was not making any noise as he tried to cough up the obstruction, which I knew meant big trouble, his airway was blocked.  I knew right away he had a tennis ball caught in his throat!!

I grabbed his mouth with my right hand and reached in with my left to try and pull it out, I could barely touch it with my finger it was so far down.  He was freaking and was trying to swallow the ball but could not so he bit down very hard on my hand in his attempt to clear his airway.  The molar almost took the tip of my finger off. I knew right then I had about 2 minutes to get that ball out or he was dead.

I tried reaching in about 5 more times and got severely bit to the bone each time.  That was not working so I grabbed him and tried to Heimlich him several times but that ball was really stuck.  At this time he started to lose his strength and I pulled him down on the ground on his side.  Well he was giving up at this point and starting to pass out.  At this time a guy came up and he had some thick gloves on, he said I will try and hold his mouth open while you try to grab the ball.  I massaged the ball up from the outside as much as I could and since Cody started to go unconscious his throat relaxed some.  I could see about 1/3 of the ball now.  My hands were all bloody from the bites but I felt no real pain I just knew I had to grab that ball right then cause Cody emptied his bowel and started to convulse.  I grabbed at the slimey ball about 15 times till I finally got enough grip to yank it out!  I knew it was do or die right then and it was up to me.

Cody was unconscious for about 15 seconds the guy was talking to him and shaking him and I blew in Cody's nose twice, his heart was still beating as my hand was on it and i could feel it.  After about 30 seconds he got up and was a little woozy.  I was so relieved!  I got up and looked at my hands and they looked like hamburger and bleeding bad.  Cody tried to grab another tennis ball while I was covering my hands with a towel someone gave me there, I screamed at him to drop and he did.

After 5 doctor visits and 2 courses of plenty of antibiotics I was OK they thought my finger was broken from that molar bite but it was not.  Cody is fine he still is obsessed with tennis balls but I take them from him right away if he finds one at the new dog park we go to, which is more like a forest preserve where he can swim in the river, we both like it there better.  I never took him back to the place where it happened.

So be careful letting your dogs have balls.

Princess L:
I'm glad to hear everything turned out ok.  That must've been a very frightening experience.


--- Quote from: Princess L on April 01, 2007, 08:39:55 PM ---I'm glad to hear everything turned out ok.  That must've been a very frightening experience.

--- End quote ---

Yes it was very traumatic for me, it had me really down for a while.

If I throw a ball they run to it, look at it, and run back to me and I go fetch it.  ::)

 The only one who has any fetch balls is Tad, and I keep his at work because his are the really small ones.  I used to have some bigger balls (I have danes too so I look for much bigger than tennie size) one was a real hit, but I haven't been able to find them again.   :(   

  Ropes and stuffed animals they can destroy are popular at my house.

     Excellent warning though, sorry you had to experience it, but glad it turned out okay. 

  Another reason every home should have a pair of hemostats.     8)

Yeah I don't do tennis balls....if it isn't bigger than a softball...I just know he's going to try & swallow it.


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