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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Recently on one of my Facebook groups it was reported that a working k9 suffocated from a tennis ball getting lodged in his throat. The ball got stuck, the dog panicked and by the time the dog was passed out and taken to a vet he was dead. In 2013 a K9 died from a LaCrosse ball getting lodged in his throat.

This has also happened to dogs tugging and playing with a ball on a rope and the rope breaks or pulls loose (and why I always use a ball on a rope that has a rope that passes through the ball and ties back into itself).

Tennis balls are just the right size to choke a dog the size of Labrador Retrievers, Golden Retrievers and German Shepherds and larger. When the ball becomes lodged you have approximately 5 minutes to dislodge it or surgically open the dog's trachea (which most people have to have a vet do) so the dog can breathe.

Tennis balls also break up and the pieces are dangerous. So, when you think, "No issue, I have a little dog." No.. tennis balls easily chew up and break up. Swallowed pieces can cause blockages (I know of a world competition dog this happened too) and then bloat. If not caught very early and surgery performed to remove the blockage, bloat will kill a dog very very quickly.. and is another horrible death. Fortunately for that world level competition dog, it WAS caught early and the surgery performed (thousands of dollars BTW) and the dog recovered and returned to competition.

I am all for using a ball as a reward training my dog and for retrieves and as a toy. I never let the dog have it when not playing or engaged with me and it always has a rope attached. I have started using a larger ball as well.

Recently I purchased a ball made by the Chuck It people that is not solid at all. I am going to attach my paracord to that and see what the dog thinks of it (and see if it gets stuck on his/her teeth). This ball would allow air to pass through it if it ever became lodged in my dog's throat.
 
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