Most pets, especially dogs, chew on things all the time, and they can swallow the strangest objects. Many of these swallowed foreign objects will pass through your pet’s body without any problems, but some of them can cause physical discomfort, or real danger to your pet.
What to Watch For
If the object is small, you may never notice that your pet has swallowed something until you see it in the droppings. Larger or oddly shaped objects can cause injury or blockage in your pet’s digestive system. Watch for signs and call your veterinarian’s office if you suspect that your pet is in trouble. Some of the signs to look out for include:
- Reduced appetite or loss of appetite
- Constipation or diarrhea
- Your pet not wanting to move, or crying when touched, which can indicate abdominal pain
Help! What do I do?
If you see a string, thread, or cord sticking out of your pet’s mouth or bottom, don’t cut it or try to pull it out. You may injure your pet or make it more difficult for our doctors to care for your pet. In any case, if you suspect that your pet has swallowed a foreign object, call your veterinarian. If it’s after hours, our emergency vet hospital can take care of you. Quick actions can save your pet’s health, or even its life.
What do pets swallow?
Pets have been known to swallow any number of dangerous objects. Peach and plum pits, rubber ducks, coins, fridge magnets, and any other small object that will fit in their mouth are just a few. Chewed objects can pose a danger because sharp edges can pierce the intestine, causing life-threatening peritonitis. Softer items such as socks, yarn, tinsel, or thread can ball up inside your pet’s intestines and create a blockage, or they might wrap around internal organs and can even cut through them.
What will the vets do?
In the case of your pet possibly swallowing a foreign object, our veterinarians will first question you to find out as much as possible about your pet. They’ll ask you what your pet might have swallowed, how long it’s been inside your pet’s system, and about your pet’s general health. Our doctors will provide a thorough physical examination of your pet, which may include x-rays, blood tests, or ultrasounds. When a foreign object is identified, our doctor will consult with you on the correct procedure to remove it. Your pet may need a general anesthetic if the doctor needs to operate to remove the foreign object. At that time, our doctor will examine your pet’s intestines to make sure none of them are damaged, and may have to remove a portion of the intestine if it can’t be repaired.
It’s almost impossible to prevent pets from swallowing foreign objects, but a good pet owner is always watching out for their furry family members. Pay attention to your pet’s behavior. If you have any questions about whether they’ve swallowed something they shouldn’t, call our office right away.