Dog impaled by stick recovering after emergency surgery

Radar (BluePearl Veterinary Partners photo)

Radar (BluePearl Veterinary Partners photo)

TAMPA, Fla.  –  Radar is one lucky pooch.

The 1-year-old Australian cattle dog is on the mend after undergoing emergency surgery at BluePearl Veterinary Partners hospital Friday because he was impaled by a two-foot stick that sank eight inches into his chest.

The accident happened while Radar was playing fetch with owner Maya Niewiadomska at Tampa’s Al Lopez Park. As Radar ran after the stick, it somehow punctured his chest, right between his front legs.

“It was terrifying,” Niewiadomska said. “It was one of the most terrifying things I have seen in my entire life.”

Thankfully, Niewiadomska knew what to do. She is studying to become a physician’s assistant and knew that removing the stick herself would be

BluePearl Veterinary Partners photo

BluePearl Veterinary Partners photo

harmful, possibly causing more damage.

Several people at the dog park helped Niewiadomska rush Radar to BluePearl, which has clinicians with the expertise necessary to provide comprehensive care for complex injuries.

There, Radar was put under anesthesia and Dr. Nick Rappa and Dr. Michael Reems performed surgery. Rappa said Radar’s rib cage prevented the stick from damaging any major organs.

“Everything went very well,” Rappa said of the hour-long procedure. “It was really a best-case scenario for a situation like this.”

Rappa said it’s not uncommon for dogs to become injured by sticks, and added that Radar’s situation is a good reminder for all owners to be cautious when playing with pets.  Sticks are sharp and dirty, and can cause deep tissue injury and infection.

Niewiadomska said Radar is doing remarkably well given his injury.  She said the hardest part for him will be the two weeks of enforced recovery time. She’s also set up a GoFundMe page to help defray the cost of Radar’s surgery. Those interested in contributing can click here.

She’s also learned a valuable lesson: no more sticks for Radar.

“From now on, we’re only playing with Frisbees,” she said.

The stick removed from Radar's chest (BluePearl Veterinary Partners photo)

The stick removed from Radar’s chest (BluePearl Veterinary Partners photo)