Summer recreational activities are a joy for everyone, including our furry friends! But what do you do when things go awry and something detrimental happens to your pet? Unfortunately, that's exactly what happened to one of our clients when they took their pet fishing with them over the weekend. While they were fishing, something happened with their pet, and their fishing hook somehow ended up getting stuck right below the animal's ribcage. Thankfully they were able to make it to the emergency clinic to get the hook safely removed, and the pet is now on their way to recovery. But what exactly does a practitioner do in this sort of 'fishy' situation?
Unfortunately, pets and fishing don't always mix. The smell of fish or bait can sometimes be too much for our animals, enticing them to try to sniff or play with fish hooks, which can surely spell DISASTER if they get too close. Some of the most common areas of the body fish hooks get caught on in animals is the abdomen, lip, head, nose, mouth, or paws.
Ultimately, the safest and most effective way to remove a fish hook from your pet is to head over to your veterinarian or an emergency clinic immediately to get them the medical attention they need. In this particular case, the owners were able to take their pet to the emergency clinic, where the practitioners started the hook removal process by first pushing the tip of the hook out of the skin. They then used a scalpel to make a very small incision along the hook to allow the barb to exit the skin. Wire cutters were then used to cut the barb off, and the hook was then removed in two pieces by backing the hook out slowly back through the entry point. The remaining tract of where the hook was under the skin was then flushed with hydrogen peroxide to clean out any debris, followed by a tamed iodine flush to sterilize the wound. Non-steroidal pain medication, along with antibiotics, can then be dispensed for 7-10 days to prevent any potential infections. If the animal licks the wound, an Elizabethan collar (or "cone of shame") can be applied to prevent any further irritation to the wound. We're very happy to say the pet highlighted in this 'Case of the Week' got the prompt medical attention they needed and is now on their way to a fast and speedy recovery, completely hook free!