Look what we found in the dog’s duodenum!!

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What to do when your dog swallows something they really shouldn’t have!
It’s a common enough presentation here at Beaufield, with owners traipsing in with a guilty-looking dog before replying the information that ‘Max has swallowed… (insert item here).’ Socks are definitely one of the main offending items. We’ve often heard tales from owners of walking into the laundry room, seeing the dog with a brightly-coloured object in their mouth, and before they can say ‘stop that!’ it’s gone down the hatch into Bailey’s stomach.

So, whats to do next? And will it be a problem? This depends on what they swallowed and on the dog’s specific history; we have one large dog attending us, who shall remain anonymous, who has made such a habit if swallowing pop socks and pooping them out that his owner just takes it for granted that he will pass them, and will regale us with tales of what else he has eaten that he shouldn’t have whenever he is in for a checkup.

Now, what do you do if your pet swallows something they shouldn’t have? Well, you should NEVER try to induce vomiting at home despite how many times you read it on the internet  If you pet has something lodged in their mouth or oesophagus, is in obvious distress or choking you need to get them to the vet as soon as possible! Only try to remove objects from their mouth if it is safe.

If you saw your pet swallow an object call your vet immediately for advice. Sometimes if the object is small and soft enough and not much time has passed we may be able to remove it using a variety of different methods including safely inducing vomiting or sometime surgery. Leaving it and hoping it will be ok could become a recipe for disaster, particularly in smaller dogs, with the swallowed object becoming lodged in either the stomach or the small intestine. It always depends on what it is that your pet has eaten; cats can have a predilection for playing with twine or wool, which can sometimes becomes lodged at the base of the tongue before unravelling down into the stomach and small intestine, potentially causing a loss of blood supply to the intestines through an ‘accordion’ effect. .

Also remember that there are many food items that your pet shouldn’t eat (we’ll cover these in an upcoming blog) due to their capacity to cause significant illness; if your dog has just eaten something like this, make sure to ring your vet promptly, as inducing vomiting in these cases, if possible, can prevent serious toxicities.

If you pet has swallowed something indigestible, you haven’t sought veterinary advice and then your pet goes off their food or develops vomiting you will need an urgent trip to the vet as intestinal blockages can quickly progress to become life threatening, and major surgery can often be needed.