Dog owner's warning after pet impaled on stick during game of fetch

Jemma and Marley, and right, his injury
Jemma and Marley, and right, his injury (Picture: Mercury)
Jemma Hammerton was out for a walk with her five-year-old Jack Russell cross Marley when she decided to throw a stick for him to catch.

But when he failed to come running back she rushed over to him to find him covered in flood after he had been impaled by the small branch.

Jemma, 22, from Willenhall, West Mids, admits she thought Marley, was dead when she ran over to find the branch she had just thrown lodged deep in his throat. After an initial month-long course of antibiotics and pain medications the pooches’ injuries came back to haunt him in February and Marley needed an hour-long surgery to remove previously undetected bits of the branch which were still stuck in his neck.
Now Jemma is warning out pet owners to be careful when throwing things for their pets

She said: ‘We were out on our usual walk when a stick I had thrown dug itself into the mud and was pointing upwards.

Five-year-old Jack Russell cross, Marley with injury from stick, from Willenhall, West Mids
Marley was impaled on the stick (Picture: Mercury)

‘Marley ran to get it but didn’t stop in time and the stick got lodged in the back of his mouth.

‘I ran over and he was desperately trying to get it out with his paws, and in a panic I pulled it out of his mouth.

‘There was blood pouring from his throat and he just became limp and lifeless.

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‘I actually thought he was dead and that the stick had gone through his neck completely at first.

‘I was hysterical, it was like I was losing a child.’

Unable to get Marley seen by a regular vet after hours, Jemma rushed him to Wolverhampton PDSA Pet Hospital in December last year where he was given pain relief and antibiotics, and asked to return for regular check ups.
Five-year-old Jack Russell cross, Marley with injury from stick, from Willenhall, West Mids
Marley’s injury after it was stitched up (Picture: Mercury)

Over the next month, the injured pup started to get back to his usual self, but in February Jemma noticed that a small lump on his neck had started to leak puss and go black.

She took him back to PDSA, where investigative surgery showed there were still parts of the branch in his throat which needed removing, and within an hour he was back on his feet.

Jemma said: ‘It was like there was something there trying to push its way out.

Jemma Hammerton, 22, and five-year-old Jack Russell cross, Marley, from Willenhall, West Mids
Jemma and Marley (Picture: Mercury)

‘It looked incredibly sore and had started pussing and going black.

‘He was acting so out of character, so I knew something wasn’t right so we took him back to PDSA to get it checked.’

Now Marley is full-recovered but Jemma said it could have been worse and she wants to warm others about throwing sticks after learning from the charity that these injuries in dogs are much more common than you might expect.

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She said: ‘I want to urge other owners not to let their dogs play with sticks while out walking. I learnt the hard way and I don’t want anyone else to go through what Marley’s been through.

‘Marley means the world to me and I am forever grateful to everyone at PDSA who were absolutely brilliant.

‘I can’t thank them enough for everything they did in keeping Marley with me, I dread to think what would have happened if we didn’t have them. They are a God-send.’

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