Some dogs seem to get into everything, and you already know if you have a “swallower” on your hands. On the other hand, even a dog who normally seems disinterested in chewing or swallowing foreign objects can get hold of something potentially harmful. Either way, all dog owners should know what to do in the event that their dog swallows something they shouldn’t.
First, no matter what you read online, do not attempt to induce vomiting! Only try to remove objects from your dog’s throat if they’re actually choking, it is safe to do so, and you don’t have time to get them to a pet medical facility safely. But inducing vomiting to remove objects from the stomach can actually make things worse in some situations.
Never induce vomiting in a pet with a history of seizures, or other neurological conditions, heart conditions, recent abdominal surgery or bloat.
Do call us immediately when you suspect an object has been swallowed. Waiting it out, and hoping your dog passes the object or vomits it back up, can cause too much time to pass. This delay creates a need for other retrieval methods that can be much more difficult and involved.
Once in our hospital, we can assess different options to remove the object from you pet. We may be able to safely induce vomiting up to 45 minutes after ingestion, or in some cases we may need to refer patient to an emergency facility for an endoscopy assessment.
Why you should never wait: If your pet swallowed an object, some time has passed, and now they’re refusing to eat or having other worrisome symptoms, this can signal a more serious situation. Often small objects can become lodged in their intestines and create a blockage. Surgery might be necessary in order to remove the object, because blockages can quickly become life threatening.
As with many problems in life, prevention is more effective than the cure. If you have a puppy or older dog who habitually swallows objects, let’s discuss their behavior and ways to protect them. Call us to schedule an appointment, and we can help you learn how to protect your pet from these dangerous situations.