A split-second decision to throw a stick for a dog resulted in a series of catastrophic events that nearly cost Merlin his life.

While on a walk in Thatcham, Merlin's owner, Jodie Young, found a large stick and threw it for him.

Within seconds, Merlin caught the stick in his mouth, causing his mouth to jam open and bleeding to ensue.

He began wheezing, choking, and momentarily went limp.

In a panic, Merlin's owner called for assistance from Steve Bryan and rushed him to emergency vets Castle Hill in Reading

The situation became dire as Merlin vomited blood multiple times during the car ride.

The initial veterinary clinic administered a general anaesthetic and discovered that a piece of the stick had lodged against Merlin's windpipe, making it difficult for him to breathe.

Concerned about his condition, he was swiftly transferred to Southern Counties Veterinary Specialists in Ringwood.

The journey to the specialist clinic was a harrowing one, with Merlin's owner expressing fear and worry throughout the drive.

Upon arrival, Merlin continued to dribble blood from his mouth, highlighting the severity of his condition.

He was immediately admitted to the Intensive Care Unit, where he spent nearly two days under close observation.

The medical team explained that the stick would need to be removed either manually or through surgery, depending on the size of the obstruction.

On Tuesday morning (August 29), Merlin was placed under general anaesthesia once again, and the medical team successfully removed the stick using forceps.

The stick measures an astonishing 10 centimetres in length.

Remarkably, it had not caused any damage to Merlin's windpipe or oesophagus during its lodgement, a fact the medical team described as a "miracle".

Jodie wrote on a public social media post: "Miraculously the stick had not damaged the windpipe or oesophagus when it had got wedged in his throat.

"They then had to flush away all the fragments and splinters that remained inside his throat."

He was kept another night to be strictly monitored, no food allowed but fluids via drip and very strong pain killers.

Merlin remained in the veterinary hospital for another night to ensure his recovery progressed positively.

Jodie added: "Tonight [August 30] he came home. He will be allowed only in the garden on a lead for 2 weeks. He has two different lots of antibiotics and 2 different pain killers to take. No solid food for 2 weeks.

"He is lethargic, swollen, and in pain......because I threw a stick. One second decision resulted in catastrophic events - we were lucky it could have been so much worse.

"Our vet bill totalled almost £7000 - thank god for insurance!"

For the next two weeks, he is only permitted in the garden while on a lead and must take antibiotics and painkillers.

Merlin's owner urges all dog owners to reflect on this cautionary tale and take it to heart.

The lesson to be learned is to refrain from throwing sticks for dogs, as the risk of injury far outweighs any perceived enjoyment.

Their near-tragic experience serves as a reminder of how quickly an innocent action can spiral into a life-threatening situation for our beloved pets.

The owner expresses immense gratitude to Maria and the staff at the Ringwood veterinary clinic for their exceptional care and hard work in saving Merlin's life.