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Cornish dog falls ill from sand stuck to tennis balls

Cornish dog falls ill from sand stuck to tennis balls

Published by the Pirate FM News Team at 7:03am 21st October 2018. (Updated at 8:14am 21st October 2018)

This is Rocko - the Cornish dog vets were able to save after sand got stuck in his tummy.

His owner, Lee Pascoe, grew worried when Rocko could not lie down without crying out in pain.

An x-ray at the vets showed his intestine was full of compressed sand that he had swallowed whilst playing with a tennis ball on their local beach in Newquay.

The vets had to put him under anaesthetic to flush the sand from his system, but it could have been a much worse outcome.

Rocko 2
Rocko fell ill after swallowing sand from a tennis ball, the build up of sand blocked his intestine.

Lee took to Facebook to warn other owners of the dangers of sand-covered tennis balls.

"This X-ray is the sand stuck in Rocko’s intestine; it was so blocked he was throwing anything that he tried to drink back up!

"The sand had gotten so compressed it wasn’t moving anywhere. He couldn’t lay down without crying in pain and was just shaking loads. 

"I took him to the vets who stated tennis balls were the worst balls for a dog yet, I’ve never seen anything to let us know that!

"So the reason for my post is just be careful as I see so many other dogs chasing sandy tennis balls.

"I was lucky today cost me £500 for him to be put to sleep to flush it out of him but it was close to being a £3-5k operation to open him up to clean it out! Unfortunately a mate of mine, I’ve found out, has now had to do this with his dog.

Rocko 3
Luckily vets were able to flush the sand from his system but his owner is now raising awareness of the danger of tennis balls.

"Just thought I’d post to warn others because if I'd known the potential issues of throwing tennis balls on the beach I would never have done it.

"The outcome could of turned out so differently but I’m buzzing to have him back home.

"If you read all the Facebook comments everyone is in the same boat and didn’t know how dangerous tennis balls can be.

"It’s really obvious when you think about it as they just soak all the water up and sand sticks to it, it’s the fur on the tennis balls that’s the problem.

"The vet said they’re the worst ball to use but you don’t see any warnings".

How to play with your dog safely:

Here are some tips and advice on the best ways to keep your pup safe when they are playing:

  • Make sure any toys you use are not small enough to swallow; a ball on a rope is safer than just a ball
  • Don’t throw the toy upwards as that may cause your dog to leap up and land awkwardly
  • Don't be afraid of tug and war games, if you instigate the game you will be able to set the rules and keep control
  • Make sure you maintain control; If your dog tries to grab your clothing, put paws on you or snatches at the toy without being invited then immediately go still and quiet
  • Games must be supervised but also remember training should be fun too

Source: Bluecross for Pets

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