Protect your Dog from Ingesting Foreign Objects!
Dogs are like children, we need to keep a safe pet proof environment to prevent our dogs from ingesting foreign objects. Married to a vet, I have heard countless rescue stories where dogs have consumed weird things, but the most unusual story I ever heard was when a dog named Nero swallowed a cellphone in South Africa. The dog survived after a surgery, but the incident cost the family a lot of money and heartaches.
Symptoms: Such an ingestion of a foreign object could block the intestine and cause a serious injury. Common symptoms dogs show when they wrongly ingest a foreign object would be lethargy, swollen and a painful abdomen, blood in the feces, vomiting, diarrhea, dehydration and depression. In such cases, consult your vet to remove the foreign material immediately.
Is Chocolate harmful to dogs? Chocolates consist of a chemical called theobromine, which can be very toxic to dogs if it is consumed between 100 and 150 milligrams per kilogram of body weight. If your dog consumes chocolate, providing charcoal based product as a first aid would be the best option to cleanse the stomach. Charcoal helps to bind the toxins and eliminate it safely. This way the toxins will not be absorbed into your dog’s body. Consult your vet for charcoal based products and other first aid measures.
I had the rare opportunity to discuss this issue with Dr. T. N. Ganesh, Professor and Head of Small Animal Surgery, School of Veterinary Medicine - University of West Indies- Trinidad. From his remarkable experience in Small Animal Surgery he shared a few reflections for our readers.
Dr. Ganesh said, “Dogs frequently have small sized bones getting stuck on the upper pallet in a cross position - this is a tricky spot which pet owners often fail to recognize. We usually remove it easily without any major surgical intervention. In my experience I have seen dogs swallowing things like corn cobs, leather items, socks, pebbles, gravel, knives, needles, vial caps and even a diamond ring. If these objects go to the intestine - it does not get digested.
If the foreign body is relatively small and if it does not have sharp edges, fair chances are there that it will pass through the gut safely. If not, it needs to be removed. If identified early, say within 30 minutes or so, depending on the object, it could be removed by inducing vomit. However other times- surgery may be required to remove such foreign objects.”
Simple Solutions to Protect your Pet
- 1. Pet gate is a great solution, especially for puppies. This way you can create a safe environment for your pet and also continue with your daily routine.
- 2. Pet Crates and leashes can be helpful to temporarily confine your dog from reaching out to dangerous objects, especially when you cannot afford to give the constant attention your pet deserves.
- 3. You could try repellents such as Four Paws Keep Off! - Indoor/Outdoor Dog & Cat Repellent to spray on objects, that you think are harmful to your pet.
With the use of advanced surgical options and technical equipment, removing the foreign objects should not be difficult. Yet fully avoiding the situation would be the best option, because this whole experience of your dog’s ingestion of foreign objects can be risky, expensive and stressful to the pet as well as the family.