One woman who recently lost her dog has taken to Facebook to warn others about a dog toy danger that few think about.
On Saturday, Jamie Stumpf posted photos of her dog, Maximus, with an apparently swollen tongue.
Stumpf noted that Maximus had been playing with a rubber ball that had a single hole in it.
“My Humble Loyal wonderfully loving family pet Maximus is in the fight of his life,” Stumpf wrote. “His Kong ball got suctioned to his tongue. Causing major damage as you can tell.”
“I am pleading for your love support and prayers to be sent his way,” she added. “If you have one on these balls TAKE IT AWAY!!!!”
The injuries left her facing a tough choice.
“The Vet hopes the tissue does not die in the amount that would require removal of the tissue," she wrote. “I will not choose to allow a major portion to be taken. It's not in his best interest. Bill is already $3700 Please PRAY for my Lovely."
Stumpf said in a later post that Maximus had died as a result of the injuries.
Although Stumpf said the dog toy in the photo was a Kong brand ball, commenters on Facebook questioned that, suggesting the toy in her photos looked like a so-called pimple ball, manufactured by Four Paws.
She confirmed on Facebook that the toy is a Kong brand toy and posted additional photos that suggest the ball was part of toy marketed as the “Beast.”
Injuries like Maximus’ have happened before.
One such injury came in 2008 when a dog named Chai had to have his tongue amputated, according to the Consumerist. That injury was sustained while Chai was playing with the Four Paws pimple ball referenced by a commenter in Stumpf’s recent post.
Four Paws later recalled the toy, according to PopSugar.
But similar toys are still out on the market and, regardless of brand, the website dogthusiast.com suggests that any toy with a single hole is capable of creating suction that can trap a pet’s tongue.
“It is incredibly important that you check any toys that have a design where there is a hole in only one side without a secondary hole to prevent suction, and this includes tugs that may come apart,” reads a warning in the recent post on the site.
The dogthusiast.com post recommends that pet owners either dispose of such toys or drill a secondary hole so the dangerous suction can not be created.