My dog died in my arms after choking on a £3 ball as we played fetch – I'll never get over it
A MUM says she has been left a "totally different person" after her dog died in her arms as he choked on a £3 ball as they played fetch.
Louise Jackson, from Kent, was horrified when the solid rubber ball she threw for her beloved six-month-old pooch Donnie, a Cane Corso, became lodged in his throat during a walk.
The 37-year-old was out with Donnie and her two rescue dogs – Jack Russell Lady, 12, and six-year-old Jack Russell-Pug cross Jack – in Danson Park, in Bexley on April 28 last year when tragedy struck.
Playful pup Donnie caught the SportsPet high bounce rubber ballLouise threw for him – but it slid down his throat and got stuck and he started choking.
Donnie started pawing at his throat in a desperate bid to dislodge the £3 ball, which she says was bought from Pets At Home, as she ran over to help.
The hairdresser put her hand down his throat to try and remove it but claims the rubber was too hard to squeeze and she was unable to get a firm grip on it due to saliva.
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Horrified, the mum-of-one screamed for help and a Good Samaritan raced over and carried out the Heimlich manoeuvre and also tried to fish the ball out to no avail.
The man lifted 24-kilo Donnie upside down, while Louise desperately hit his back and pushed up into his stomach but tragically nothing worked to shift it.
Within five minutes of swallowing the ball, and attempts to revive him with CPR failed, Donnie died – and the ordeal has left Louise traumatised.
"I see it every single night when I close my eyes to go to bed," she said.
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"It was absolutely horrific. I honestly feel like I have PTSD from what happened.
"I'm a totally different person now to what I was a year ago."
Louise is now speaking out to urge pet owners to buy balls that have holes in them as she believes if they are accidentally swallowed, there is a chance the dog will be able to breathe and survive.
Louise said: "If it [the ball] had the holes in he would be here.
"I have always had dogs my entire life, throwing a ball is just something you do.
"Until something like this happens you don't think of the dangers.
"I will never get over this, but I just hope it brings as much awareness as possible because I don't want him dying in vain."
Louise says the incident has left her devastated as she "felt so out of control and helpless".
"I love all my dogs but there was something about Donnie, we built such a bond. He was so happy to be with us, he was just an angel," she said.
"It was awful because when he had died and his body had relaxed, the ball came out, so then we did CPR.
"The man was pumping on his chest and I held his mouth shut and was blowing into his nose. We did that for about ten minutes and the guy said 'he's gone'.
"I knew he was going to die and I couldn't do anything about it.
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"It was awful, I have never ever felt so out of control and so helpless it was one of the hardest things I have ever had to witness. To lose him like this is so unfair."
SportsPet and Pets At Home have been contacted for comment.
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