Fetching A Stick Turns Ugly


‘Major’ walked into the clinic and our vet team was stupified. Every staff member that was cruising past me kept saying:

‘Have you seen that dog with the stick injury?’.

I was starting to get edgy because I was still finishing up a procedure and was now dieingto see what the whole fuss was about. Suddenly I was equally captivated and silenced by the image of thisplacid German Shepherdwith adecent sized stick hanging out of his eyeballwhile he wasplaced in a cagein front ofme.

For those of you who can’t stomach any realgory images then I recommend you refrain from reading the rest of this blog as it is full of such images.

Ian, my vet colleague,immediately gave’Major’ a sedative/premedwithoutexamining the severity of the stick wound.There was no reason to poke and prod the patient until he was under full general anaesthetic.

Ian, however, had toexplain to Major’s owners that based onhis quick assessment,’Major’ was most likely going to require an eye enucleation.

This is ‘Major’ when he was first admitted and given his sedation.

rare stick wound

I happened to be loitering around and actually had some free time to closely observe the whole procedure. They put Major under full general anaesthetic shortly after he was sedated.

Major had just been induced with IV alfaxalone (induction agent) at this stage and was going to be intubated next.


Finally the moment of truth, Major was intubated and anaesthetized. It was time to fully assess his horrific stick injury!

major stick dilemma

Close up of the STICK IN EYE!

Close up of major's stick-eye injury

Don’t ask me how but Ian did a terrific job and managed to pull the stick out carefully and without any major complications.

The stick had miraculously not punctured Major’s eye globe but instead managed to wedge itself between the eyeglobe and socket!!!

This image was taken after the stick had been removed and illustrates how much of the stick had been lodged withinMajor’s eye socket.

post stick

Ianthenvigorously flushedtheinvolved siteand even infused antibiotics into it to prevent the formation of an abscess. The whole eye was severely swollen and had a constricted non-responsive pupil.

At this stage, the viability of the eye was in serious question but it was worth trying to save it.

Ian then performed a 3rd eyelid flap to protect Major’s eye.

Major the day after his procedure with his 3rd eyelid flap.

major 3rd eyelid flap

While Major has made an excellent recovery, the outcome of his injured eye is still unknown.

This week, we will bereversing the 3rd eyelid flap and fully assessing the functionality and viability of his eye.

In this picture, you can see Majoris such a softie; shaking hands in thehope of getting a liver treat.

major shaking hands

Major is one of the sweetest German Shepherd we have ever met. Let us keep our fingers and toes crossed for a really good outcome.

Those kind of accidents get you thinking, don’t they? Would you play fetch a stick with your dog after reading about this case?

Personally, I prefer my dogs chasing a bouncing ball over a stick.

However, it is important that we all remain reasonable andrealizeaccidents do happen and so we don’t want to getoverly paranoid.

Stay tuned for Major’s follow-up check later this week…

Filed under: Emergency Dogs, Rare Cases Source: http://rayyathevet.com/2012/01/08/fetching-a-stick-turns-ugly/



Rayya The Vet

I was born overseas and grew up in Lebanon. About 9 years ago, I left my family and friends behind to pursue my dream of becoming a veterinarian in Australia.

I have now been out in practice for the past 5 years. I absolutely love being involved with all types of animals and consider it my "calling". Whilst my job can be quite an emotional rollercoaster ride, I cannot fathom doing anything else for as long as I am living. I simply feel blessed every day that I am practicing what I truly love.

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