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Dog gets impaled by stick while playing fetch

WARNING: Some photos in this story might be too graphic for some. 

TAMPA, FL (WFLA) – Veterinarians at the BluePearl Veterinary Partners say Radar is one lucky pooch after he survived being impaled by a 2-foot stick.

The incident happened to Radar, a 1-year-old Australian cattle dog  when he was playing fetch at Al Lopez Park in Tampa with his owner Maya Niewiadomska on Friday night. As Radar ran after the stick it somehow punctured his chest between his front legs.

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

Niewiadomska, who is studying to become a physician’s assistant, knew that removing the stick by herself was a bad idea, as it could cause more damage.

Other people at the park helped her take Radar to BluePearl.

The pooch was put under anesthesia and Dr. Nick Rappa and Dr. Michael Reems performed emergency surgery on him. They said Radar’s rib cage protected his other organs from damage. The surgery took about an hour.

Dr. Rappa said that it was really a best-case scenario for the situation like this.

Doctors at BluePearl remind that dogs often get injured by sticks and that the owners need to be careful while playing with them because the sticks are sharp and dirty, and can cause injury and infection.

Luckily, Radar is doing well after his surgery and is recovering at home. Niewiadomska said this is going to be the hardest part for him – two weeks of downtime.

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

If you would like to help the family with Radar’s medical bills, click here.