A DOG owner is warning about the dangers of throwing sticks for pets after playtime almost turned to disaster.

Victoria Dooney said her seven-and-a-half-year-old springer-cocker spaniel Maisie was chasing a stick which landed awkwardly and impaled herself on it.

Almost a month after the incident Maisie is making a full recovery but Victoria still faced a £6,000 vets bill.

Now, the 32-year-old is trying to stop other dog owners facing the same ‘awful’ situation.

Victoria said: “My dad was throwing a stick for her and she ran onto it and fell the wrong way and it went straight down her throat causing extreme trauma.

“We realised something was wrong as she came back to us with a lot of thick, dark blood coming from her mouth.We had to get onto the emergency vets and she was in there for more than a week.It was awful and she was feeling so sorry for herself and my dad felt so bad because he had thrown it.

“She loves to pick up sticks all the time but we will be making sure she doesn’t have any more.

“But it is so easily done when they pick them up and you don’t realise how dangerous they are as they could spike themselves.

“I just say use a tennis ball or a frisbee.”

Maisie is continuing to make a full recovery from the throat trauma.

Victoria, of Hapton, said: “She was being tube fed but has now got the stitches and staples taken out.

“There is about an eight-inch scar where the vets had to see that no bark had been trapped. On Tuesday she had her first meal that was biscuits but she had been on pate, ham or eggs and she had been coughing a lot.

“When she was tube fed she did not know what to do because she wanted to eat but she could not.

“It has been a tough time for my family and everyone has been fantastic with her care. Maisie is finally on the mend and very lucky but the next dog may not be as lucky.

“It has been extremely expensive and if you are not insured then you have to raise the money and not everyone has the kind of funds to pay it and they may be left to decide whether to let the dog live or die.”

Claire Batty, of Myerscough Veterinary Group which has branches in Blackburn, Burnley, Rossendale and Accrington, said: “We see quite a lot of stick injuries with injuries with splinters in their mouths then there are lot of dangerous ones where they have been impaled.

“We would urge dog owners to get tennis balls or rubber bones to throw, as sticks can have serious consequences.”