Family’s warning after fetch tragedy leaves dog fighting for life

A tree branch became lodged in Labrador Tiwha's throat while she was out playing with a stick in Falkirk.

Family’s warning after fetch tragedy leaves dog fighting for life Handout

A family has warned of the dangers of playing fetch with sticks after their beloved pooch tore a hole in her throat almost killing her.

Black Labrador Tiwha was having fun running up and down a field when she came down with her mouth onto the branch she was playing with.

The stick became lodged inside the dog’s throat, tearing a 3cm hole in her oesophagus.

“My husband ran to her, she couldn’t breath,” Katie Nicholson, 26, said, “She was rolling on the ground making weird gurgling noises.

Black labrador Tiwha was having fun running up and down a field when she came down mouth-first onto the branch she was playing with.Handout

“He managed to yank the stick out.”

Katie’s husband Peter had been playing with Tiwha outside the couple’s home in Bo’ness, Falkirk, when the accident happened.

The distressing incident left the 36-year-old in a “complete mess”, but after describing what had happened they took Tiwha to the vet.

The two-year-old Labrador was transferred to the Royal Dick Veterinary Hospital in Edinburgh where she remains in a serious condition.

Tiwha with the Nicholsons' other dog Kodi the Husky.Handout

Veterinarians inserted drains into her throat and chest to help remove grass and mud and tackle an infection that has left her near death, Katie said.

The ordeal has changed how the couple thinks of playing fetch, which they had done all the time with Tiwha and their other pet Kodi the husky.

“You just don’t think about it, I’m never going to do it again, not with a stick anyway,” Katie said.

“This infection is really nasty, I’m shaking talking about it, I’m trying not to get too worked up, and stay positive for her.

“She might be OK, but she might not.”

Katie said she and Peter cannot afford the vet bills but a local animal welfare charity has set up a crowd funder to help them cover the costs – you can find it here.