Warning to anglers of the dangers to pets caused by discarded fish hooks

Suzhy Winfield with a dog that was treated after getting fish hooks trapped in its mouth
Suzhy Winfield with a dog that was treated after getting fish hooks trapped in its mouth

My husband is a keen fisherman and so I am very aware of fishing seasons – open, closed, lake, river, coarse and more.

Whatever your personal views are on fishing the one resounding feeling amongst most is that hooks used should not be left lying around on the ground – ever!

Every year we see more and more injuries to dogs as a result of fishing hooks, fishing lines and accessories left on bank sides by anglers.

This year however we have seen our first one very early.

A beautiful husky was rushed into us having just witnessed him injuring himself on the three-pronged hook.

He was only seven months old and his owners understandably were distraught.

We all know in the veterinary profession that a little blood goes along way so you can imagine the amount pouring from this poor chap’s upper lip with two of the prongs being barbed having gone straight through and the panic that ensued for both the dog and its owners.

The noise the dog made, the owners said, will haunt them for a long time.

On examination, the dog was obviously very distraught and in a great deal of discomfort and the owners were having to restrain his head to stop him shaking it in a vain attempt at removing the hook.

The dog was so traumatised he was not able to control his bowel movements which lead to more stress for him.

It was obvious that the dog was going to have to be sedated to remove the hooks and with this shock came the financial implications as well for the owners.

We have all been there when funds are an issue but the patient can simply not be left without the treatment.

So, we sedated the dog and administered an injectable pain relief and antibiotic.

Then, with wire cutters, we snipped the arm of the two hooks, the barbed point was then pushed through from the inside through the outer skin of the upper lip, the only way to remove these as the barb has to go forward not backwards.

Once this was done the puncture wounds were cleaned and the dog woken up and monitored.

A course of antibiotics and pain relief followed.

Trauma to the dog and a very unexpected veterinary bill for the owners.

We will never know what attracted the dog to the hook – perhaps it was the shiny lure or was there bait left on the hook?

Either way, these hooks are very dangerous.

This dog was actually lucky, some injuries we see from fishing hooks and lines are very serious, they can be ingested and end up hooked into the eosophagus

or stomach, which can sometimes result in major surgery.

If a dog has just fishing line hanging from its mouth the chances are very high that the hook is on the other end, excessive damage can be caused if you pull on fishing line.

Never try to do that yourself – always take the dog to the nearest vet.