CHULA VISTA, California — The Internet has recently been exploding with horrible photos of a dog with a grossly swollen tongue that had to be euthanized due to a very innocent looking toy.
In Chula Vista, California a family had a tragic loss after their 5-year-old dog Max suffered a fatal injury involving his tongue. The Stumpf’s family made the difficult decision to put their beloved Rottweiler down.
Max had been playing with the toy when Jaime Stumpf’s son noticed something was wrong. He told his mother that the ball was stuck in his mouth.
“He was holding it in the proper position, right in the middle of his mouth,” Stumpf said, “So we played, and he played and had fun.”
It wasn’t until the next morning when Stumpf reached in to take the ball away, she couldn’t. The ball was stuck on Max’s tongue.
The ball was unique in that there was no hole on top and only one in the bottom, creating suction. The more they tried to pull and work it out, the more it clamped down on his mouth.
Max was rushed to the emergency pet hospital. Veterinarians had to cut the ball off, but it was too late. It came down to a very difficult decision for the Stumpf family.
Kong issued a statement saying they were greatly grieved by the story of Max and have launched an extensive review on the product after the incident. The product, known as the Kong Beast, had been sold for over five years with no incidents.
Kong concluded with saying ,”Toy safety is at the heart and soul of what we do and we will be determining the next steps once we have all the facts in front of us.”
The Kong Beast is actually a tug toy and the ball that has been the cause of this tragedy was pulled off the rope line. This tragic story gives us warning that it wasn’t just a ball but rather a broken toy that was the cause. It reminds us how important it is to supervise play with our dogs, especially new toys, and to always inspect toys to ensure there are no damaged or broken parts that could be hazardous for our doggy friends.
READ MORE: HOW TO CLEAN DOG TOYS
A second case was just reported online at the VERGI 24/7 Emergency & Critical Care Hospital in Houston, Texas. Rooney came in with his tongue also stuck inside the broken toy. Thankfully, they were able to sedate the dog and with a needle release the suction from the ball. Rooney woke up a few minutes later, looking for his ball, of course.
We hope that Kong and other toy manufacturers will reconsider the one hole design and allow a second hole to prevent this deadly suction. Even if the ball is not meant to turn into a ball, it is a good safety feature that could save many lives in the future.