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PitRottMommy, Veterinary Nurse
Category: Pet
Satisfied Customers: 8282
Experience:  15 yrs experience in vet med, 8 in emergency med. Founder of a non-profit animal rescue
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Another question about our Doberman boy, Justice (16 months

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Another question about our Doberman boy, Justice (16 months old now); he loves to fetch balls but I'm wondering if they could possibly get stuck in his throat. They're very hard rubber and about the size of a tennis ball (maybe a tad bigger). He's so picky about the balls he likes to play with that I doubt we can substitute something else. It kind of seems like a shame to deprive him of something he loves to do so much but if it's a legitimate concern, what choice do we have? I'd like to hear that I'm reading horror stories on the internet that don't have a lot of merit...
Thank you!

Hello, JACustomer. I have been a Veterinary Nurse for over 15 years and would be happy to help you today. I'm reviewing your question right now.

Hi, Mary. It will truly depend on the size of the balls. For a full size doberman, yes, it's very possible a tennis ball-sized object could be swallowed and become stuck in the esophagus or the stomach (typically we see these types of balls chewed up but I've seen dogs 75# ***** over that have swallowed whole balls before). Have you checked to see if this company offers a larger ball of the same composition?

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
I've checked but not contacted the company directly. (I'm not optimistic though because I'm just not finding it.). What if the dog is playing with the ball supervised, does this lower the risk in any way?

It does. Typically ingestion happens when the dog is not supervised and is allowed to chew on the ball vs. just fetch it. But the smaller the ball the higher the risk of your companion moving it beyond the back teeth and swallowing. Watch where he carries it when he retrieves. Is it forward in the mouth? Back toward the back? If it's in the back, can you even see the ball in the mouth from the side or front? If not, the ball is too small. It wouldn't be a bad idea to take him to a pet store and see if you can find another ball he does want to retrieve that's larger.

Customer: replied 4 months ago.
That is very helpful thank you. If we could find a ball that he likes better we would of course buy it but he's so picky and only likes these hard rubber balls made by Snug. I've only seen littler ones and of course we wouldn't want those.

You're very welcome!

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