The Dangers of Fishing with Your Dog

The Dangers of Fishing with Your Dog

Understanding the Dangers of Fishing with Your Dog

Spring slowly turns into summer, bringing longer days and warm weather. During this time of year, you may want to grab your fishing gear and head for the peace and tranquility of nearby lakes or rivers. Frequently, you may want to take your dog with you, but unfortunately, fishing and dogs don’t always go hand in hand. If you like the company of your dog, take care to keep him safe, especially around the fishhooks. Fishhooks can be ingested, embedded in the lips and the face, as well as the legs and paws.

There are two main types of fishhooks, the treble hook and single hook. Treble hooks have three hooks attached together, while a single hook is just what the name implies; just one hook. To entice the fish, the hook is adorned with bait. However, this bait may also entice your pet, and hot dogs, worms and even stink bait are quite tasty to dogs and cats. Commercial lures also turn a fishhook into tempting playthings as they fly through the air or flicker through the water.

When a Dog Ingests a Fishhook

Usually you will see immediate signs that your dog has either ingested a fishhook or has one stuck in his skin. You might notice the following:

What to Do When A Dog Ingests a Fishhook

If your dog has ingested a fishhook, transport him to your veterinarian immediately. Removing fishhooks can be risky, especially if stuck in the intestinal tract. DO NOT pull the fishing line in an attempt to pull the hook out of the throat. Just as in a fish, the hook will grab onto a piece of the stomach or esophagus and becoming imbedded, making surgery the only option for treatment.

If the hook is embedded in the skin outside the body (and not in the mouth), some pets may allow you to remove it. Try the following:

Veterinary Care for Dogs That Ingest Fishhooks

Diagnosis of Fishhook Problems with Dogs

Fishhooks stuck in the skin can be seen readily without any tests. However, fishhooks that have been ingested require additional diagnostics.
Your veterinarian will most likely take an x-ray of your pet to help determine the location of the hook and help decide on the best way to remove the hook. Because hooks are made of metal, they are readily visible on radiographs (x-rays).

Treatment of Fishhook Problems with Dogs

Depending on the tolerance of the pet, placement of the hook and type of hook, sedation may be required, since removal of the hook can be painful.

Home Care for Dogs that Ingest Fishhooks

If your dog ingests a fishhook that is attached to a fishing line, DO NOT pull on the fishing line. Let the dog swallow the hook, then take your dog to the veterinarian. Gently hold the line to keep your dog from ingesting it. You can try tying the line to the collar unless your dog continues to chew.

You can try to remove the hook at home if it is stuck in the skin (as illustrated above). If your dog is not cooperative, do not force restraint. Have your veterinarian remove the hook.

Preventative Care

Keep all fishing equipment safely stored away. Do not allow your pet free access to hooks and bait. Be very careful when walking your dog around lakes or ponds where fishing is allowed.

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