It’s a fact…pets swallow the craziest things! Over the years we’ve removed so many pairs of underwear, ropes and toys from pets’ “insides” that we’ve lost count.
For example, we recently had a dog try to eat two treats at the same time and passed out when they lodged in the back of his throat. In another case, a dog managed to consume a black garbage bag, planting soil and about 20 feet of carpet. In a third incident, a dog ate an open safety pin that lodged in his esophagus.
We’re happy to report that although surgery was required in the last two cases, all three animals survived without permanent injury.
String and thread seem to hold particular fascination for cats and kittens. When eaten, these can wrap around a cat’s tongue and tighten with every swallow. If the thread is attached to a needle, the consequences can be deadly.
What are the Symptoms?
Here are signs that your pet may have eaten something harmful:
- Vomiting or gagging
- Painful abdomen
- Lack of appetite
- Diarrhea or constipation
- Behavioral changes & indications (irritable, biting, scratching, whining, writhing in pain, etc.)
What Should You Do?
If you suspect your pet has eaten something bad, bring them to us immediately or to the Animal Emergency Clinic if it’s after-hours. Remember…NEVER induce vomiting on your own without talking to us first; in some situations it could seriously injure or even kill your pet.
Young animals especially seem prone to consuming foreign objects or substances. So when you introduce a new pet into your home, or if you have an older pet that just seems to like eating foreign objects, take steps to limit temptation. “Baby-proof” your home for your pet.
- Keep clothing, toys, magazines and other items off floors and out of reach.
- Keep doors closed or use pet safety gates to limit access to areas of your home.
- Make sure that pet toys are the right size for your animal, that they won’t tear or fall apart easily and don’t have small components that can be pulled off and swallowed.
- Call us or visit with us at your annual appointment about other ways you can deter your pet from eating foreign objects or substances.
Buy Pet Insurance. It Can Save You as Well as Your Pet
More and more pet owners are using pet insurance and we’re glad. Major surgery to remove something your pet has swallowed can be expensive and if money is tight, pet owners are sometimes forced to make hard, painful decisions. However, financial pressure becomes a non-issue if your pet insurance covers 90% of the bill. We recommend Trupanion for your insurance needs. If you have not investigated pet insurance, we suggest you visit trupanion.com.