A dog had a lucky escape after being impaled on a tree branch that missed her heart.
Labrador Molly had been chasing a ball down a hill when she accidentally ran into the branch.
A metre long, it pierced through her chest up to 40cm and horrified owner Amy Gaunt feared she wouldn’t survive.
But thankfully, the wood missed all of her major organs and surgery Molly was fine.
Amy said 17-month-old Molly had been chasing a ball down a hill near her home in Burton-on-Trent when she had the accident.
She heard the dog’s howls of agony and found the branch protruding from the front of Molly’s chest.
Amy rushed the dog to Scarsdale Vets in Stapenhill for emergency treatment, with the branch still poking out.
Molly is now recovering at home and doing well.
“Her favourite thing in the world is her ball, and that day she chased after it with her usual gusto,” said Amy.
“She’s such an energetic dog and runs so fast, but unfortunately the stick got in her way as she pounced to collect her ball.
“The sound of her squeal was horrific, and we knew straight away that something was dreadfully wrong.
“She calmed down a lot when we reached her, and as my partner Ben and I had grown up with dogs we knew we needed to leave the stick in and get her to a vet immediately.”
Scans revealed it had sliced 40cm inside Molly’s chest, but miraculously it missed all the major organs, blood vessels and arteries and travelled underneath her lungs and liver. It took two hours of surgery for it to be removed.
Molly spent the next four days in the centre’s intensive care unit, but after just five days returned home under observation.
Mark Longley, a European specialist in small animal surgery, was amazed at Molly’s luck, but praised her owners for leaving the stick in place, which prevented any further injury.
“Amazingly, Molly was pretty stable on arrival and whilst her chest sounded fine and there were no worrying observations other than the obvious.
“There was serious potential for there to be some life-threatening injuries if the stick wasn’t dealt with urgently, such as trauma to her lungs, liver and for the blood supply to her intestinal tract to be damaged.
“Molly is an incredibly lucky dog and her recovery was nothing short of remarkable – the next day you’d think nothing had happened.
“She is lucky to be alive – if the stick had moved just a few centimetres either way or hit any of her vital organs or major blood vessels, it’s unlikely she would have made it to Pride in the first place.”
Molly is back to running around her garden with her owners, and shows no signs of slowing down.
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Vets are also satisfied that there are no signs of infection, or adverse effects of trauma.
“As you can imagine, Molly, Ben and I were all very distressed, but once we reached Stapenhill and then Pride we knew she would be well taken care of,” said Amy.
“We are so grateful to Jen, Mark and everyone else who treated Molly for taking the best care of her throughout her treatment.
“We love having her being back and home with us and are so relieved that she has recovered so quickly.”