Give me the ball… ALL of it!

Shockey(2) This is Shockey.  He's a highly trained member of local law enforcement.  Need a canine officer to search for drugs or detain a suspect?  He's your man… dog, I mean.

Even a highly trained dog sometimes is not perfect.  In his training, his handler was accustomed to using a tennis ball to reward him in play.  Apparently the tennis ball was providing a lot more motivation than the trainer and handler had counted upon.

One day, Shockey refused to relinquish the ball.  Training had given the handler a procedure to follow under these circumstances, and eventually he recovered the tennis ball… sort of.

Ball chomped (2) In the process of arguing with his handler about who would retain custody of the ball, Shockey gave the ball a pretty savage chewing.  A dog's big back teeth are designed to shear off chunks of his prey so that he can gulp them down.  The big piece is what the handler obtained.  All the other pieces were sheared off and gulped down.

Fortunately,  I was able to retrieve the debris by the simple expedient of inducing vomiting. No surgery  was needed to extract it (before or after a blockage occurred).  The irony of this situation is that we had to do this on a night emergency basis because I had not yet finished preparing the officer's emergency kit for dealing with accidental drug ingestion.  If I had finished it (and now I have), the officer could have used his kit to induce vomiting right at home. 

Of course, the up side is that the officer got to see a real-life demonstration of how to induce vomiting… and watch me clean it up.  Ah, yes, seven years of college (sigh).

8 thoughts on “Give me the ball… ALL of it!

  1. Go_Dave says:

    My next door neighbour left a frozen turkey (big one) on the side, when they got home nothing was left apart from a few bones.

    They were only out for 2 hours so its not like the thing defrosted either!

  2. Brenda says:

    And to add, it’s not just big dogs. Yesterday when I had my arthritic senior in for her 6 months bloodwork, two doxies came in throwing up and miserable from the tennis ball they had shredded. I think my cats are bigger than those two were.

  3. Brett says:

    I had a german shorthaired pointer that would chew (destroy) anything he could get in his mouth. I figured he would grow out of it as he got older, but it didn’t slow down much. Fortunately I didn’t have any proplems with him ingesting his destruction. Thanks for the post.

  4. blend says:

    dude, i am concerned about my Rockey ( a Great Dane). truely speaking he is god of destruction. he can chew up anything comes on his way. what would i do if something hard debris got struck? really hard! anyways thanks for the post bro.

  5. Doc says:

    Hello, Blend,

    I’d start getting your dog used to having his mouth held open. Get him to let you hold his mouth wide open, then follow with a treat. Gradually extend the time.

    This will make it more likely that he will allow you to inspect his mouth, should he get something lodged in it.

    I have often seen sticks and rib bones wedged across the roof of the mouth. The dog has bitten down and his powerful shearing teeth have cut a chunk of bone/stick out of the middle that is wedged in. If the dog holds still, it is usually a simple matter to pop it out. Many dogs have to be sedated, however. They are painful and upset and will not allow a thorough exam of the mouth.

    Anything lower down is going to require veterinary assistance.

    Good luck

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