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Arlo bounces back!

When Arlo, a Springer Spaniel, was playing fetch with his owners during their regular Sunday afternoon walk through Jesmond Dene in Newcastle, his tongue became trapped in a small hole where a plug connected to the ball’s squeaker had popped out. As his tongue began to swell, Arlo became more and more distressed, shaking his head and growling.

Worried owners Brian Ham and Heather Caile realised they needed veterinary help to release Arlo’s tongue from the ball, and rushed their pet to Westway Vets in West Road, Newcastle, a veterinary hospital with a 24-hour emergency service.

Vet Cassie Kerr discovered that Arlo’s tongue was so firmly wedged into the hole that he would need to be sedated while she cut the ball in half with a surgical blade. Assisted by veterinary nurses Karly White and Emily Roberts, Cassie was then able to gently release his tongue. Apart from swelling and a couple of blisters, Arlo was none the worse for the drama.

Westway Vets is warning owners to be extra cautious when choosing the right ball for their pet and to ensure it does not become damaged – otherwise they may need an emergency trip to the vets.

Vet nurse Karly said: “Many of the emergencies we see out-of-hours involve pets who have hurt themselves while playing or who have swallowed something they shouldn’t have had. Dogs coming in with sticks wedged into the roof of their mouth is quite a common injury, and we’ve also seen balls stuck in throats, dogs with socks stuck in their throat and several dogs that have swallowed batteries.

“While accidents do happen, our advice is to always be vigilant and check what your dog is playing with. With Arlo’s ball, the stopper that was part of the squeak in the toy had come loose and popped out, so he was able to get his tongue stuck. The danger was that his swollen tongue could have obstructed his airway, but fortunately his owners acted quickly and got him to the veterinary hospital, so we were able to quickly help.”

Arlo with owner Brian Ham and vet nurses Emily Roberts, centre, Karly White.

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