Do this if your dog has eaten something inappropriate

Dogs can be curious and voracious. It's easy for them to put something in their mouth that they shouldn't. It happens quickly and it's not always easy to tell when it's happening. That's why we're here to talk you through what to do if your dog gets something in his or her mouth that's not appropriate.

Symptoms of something stuck in the digestive tract

Young dogs are more likely to be affected as they have a greater interest in trying to chew on things, but of course it happens to older dogs too. A dog that has eaten something stuck in the gastrointestinal tract may exhibit symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, altered general condition and abdominal pain. Foreign body is the veterinary term for when something gets stuck in the dog's gastrointestinal tract.

What to do if my dog ingests an inappropriate object

If your dog has ingested something that could cause injury or a blockage in the intestine, you should contact a vet immediately. The reason for the urgency is that the longer it has been since the dog swallowed the object, the more likely it is that induced vomiting will not be able to remove the object.

If an object is stuck in the intestine, it is also important that it is dealt with quickly, otherwise the intestine may be damaged. The vet may try to induce vomiting with a special vomiting medicine, but this will depend on the type of object or poison involved. You must not try to make the dog vomit yourself, as it is often advised to give the dog salt. This should absolutely not be done as it can lead to salt poisoning which is a life-threatening condition for your dog.

What the vet does

In some cases vets may consider it inappropriate to make the dog vomit up an object, in which case they may instead need to remove the object from the stomach under anaesthetic, or give something to ease its passage through the intestine. If the dog has eaten something sharp, asparagus is sometimes recommended, which can help wrap the object to facilitate further passage through the intestine.

If you suspect your dog has eaten something inappropriate, always call and consult a vet for the best advice for your dog! As a Lassie customer, you always have unlimited calls to digital vet.

Examples of items that can cause injury

  • Mittens

  • Socks

  • Fabric

  • Ear plugs (particularly dangerous for small dogs)

  • String or wire

  • Stones

  • Plastic bags

  • Tampons

  • Ties

  • Squeaky toys

  • Corn cobs

  • Sharp objects

One thing you can do to prevent your dog from ingesting anything dangerous is to dog-proof your home. This means making sure that anything that could be dangerous to your dog is out of his reach.

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