My Dog Ate What? – Signs That Your Dog Swallowed A Foreign Object And What To Do About It

Thanks to Guest Author Kris Hopkins for this article.

Dog eating a neck of lamb raw

Dog eating a neck of lamb raw (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

As a dog owner, you are well aware of your dog’s curiosity and his tendency to try to ingest something he shouldn’t. Most dogs chew certain items, such as a bones, toys, sticks, stones, and rubber balls, and occasionally they will swallow foreign objects. Some of these objects may be so small that it will just pass through their system without causing any problems. Unfortunately, some objects may get stuck, putting your canine’s life in danger.

What should you do if your dog swallows a foreign object? How will you know that he swallowed it in the first place? Listed below are the signs you should watch out for and what you should do in such a situation.

How Do I Know If My Dog Has Eaten A Foreign Object?

If your dog is exhibiting any of these warning signs, it may mean that he has eaten a foreign object or something toxic:

  • Vomiting or gagging
  • Diarrhea
  • Tenderness in abdomen
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Change in usual behavior, such as becoming aggressive when picked up or when handled around the abdomen
  • You see something hanging from your dog’s mouth or bottom. If you see a string or a thread, do not pull it because it might lead to more serious injury. Do not cut it either because it will be more difficult for the vet to treat your dog.

When these signs start to manifest, immediately bring your companion animal to the vet to learn more about his condition and how to treat it. You should not wait for the object to pass on its own because the longer the foreign object stays in your dog’s body, the more damage it will cause. For one, the foreign object can cut off the blood supply to the vital tissues. If that happens, your pet may suffer serious damage or shock. Lastly, do not induce vomiting without the veterinarians’ consent because the foreign object may cause as much damage or harm coming back out.

How Will The Vet Treat My Dog?

  1. The veterinarian will perform a careful physical examination. He will gather as much information about your dog as possible.
  2. The vet might ask you if you have an idea of what your dog ate and when he swallowed it.
  3. Abdominal x-rays and ultrasound will be necessary if a foreign object is suspected as the cause of the symptoms.
  4. You will also need to submit your dog’s blood and urine sample to be tested.
  5. If the foreign object needs to be removed, your dog will be given general anesthetic.

The vet will also consider some factors:

  • The location of the foreign object
  • The size, shape, and characteristics of the object
  • How long it stayed in your dog’s intestine or stomach
  • The health condition of your companion animal before swallowing the object.

If there is a good chance that the foreign object will simply pass on its own, the veterinarian will recommend hospitalization of your canine so that he can observe him closely. But in most cases, the vet usually recommends surgery to remove the object and to avoid further internal damage.

Sick Puppy

Sick Puppy (Photo credit: Won-Tolla)

Preventive Tips

You cannot possibly stop your dog from chewing or putting things in their mouth; however, you still need to keep an eye on what he is eating. Avoid giving him toys that are too small as this increases the risk of swallowing foreign objects. In addition, do not keep too many toys lying around. Lastly, you should properly dispose fruit stones, corn on the cobs, and bones. Make sure that your dog won’t be able to access them.

Citations:
  • Marlene Sanchez.”IMG_0001″. September 27, 2010. Online Image. Flickr. Dec 04, 2013

Featured images:

  • License: Creative Commons image source

The author, Kris Hopkins, promotes pet health and safety. In this article, she lists the signs that pet owners should watch out for and what they should do if their pet swallows a foreign object.

How to Keep Cats Off Your Car

If you have cats in you neighborhood or you own a cat or two, coming outside to see these cuddly creatures comfortably resting on your vehicle may be a common occurrence for you. However, there are a number of humane ways to repel cats from your car and prevent the paw prints and scratches these furry creatures can sometimes (unintentionally) cause.

Cayenne Pepper
One effective method for making sure cats don’t end up on your car is to sprinkle a little cayenne pepper around your automobile. Cats are repelled by the spiciness of the herb, and will learn after a few days that coming close to your car means nasal irritation and stinging paws. Of course, it may also be effective to sprinkle a little of the pepper on the hood of your car as well. You may have to use this remedy for a few days until all the cats in the neighborhood get the point.

Mothballs

English: Mothballs

English: Mothballs (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Or, you can hang mothballs all around your car, including on the roof of your vehicle. Yes, the smell is very strong and unappealing. But cats feel the same way about the odor of mothballs that most humans do. Once the animals get a whiff, they are very likely to stop taking naps on your car.

Wolf Urine
While this may not be the most appealing option, spraying wolf urine from the local hunting and game store all around your car could scare the neighborhood cats from jumping on top of your vehicle. The wolf urine will indicate to the animals that there are predators nearby, which is especially frightening for indoor cats. Using this method for a few days could prove to be effective.

Pet Alarm 
Installing a motion-sensitive pet alarm may scare away cats with the noise it makes if the animals get too close to your car. You can set it up on the roof of your vehicle each evening when you park your car to ward off felines throughout the night.

Timed Sprinklers

English: Lawn sprinklers in operation at the in .

English: Lawn sprinklers in operation at the in . (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you don’t have a garage and want to make sure that your car doesn’t have paw prints or scratches from cats once your vehicle is parked, set up a few timed sprinkles in your yard, close to your vehicle. This way, if the cats get too close to the car, they’ll be sprayed with water and run the other way. It’s a common perception that cats hate water, and this is somewhat true with the exception of a few house breeds, so setting up automatic sprinklers may be an effective solution.

ScatMat
A ScatMat is a device you put on your car that shocks animals with static and teaches them not to perch on your vehicle. You can put the ScatMat on or around your car to reinforce to the cats in the neighborhood that your car is not their playground. After you’ve had the mat out for a week or two, you may be able to put it away, as the cats will associate your automobile with static shock. However, it’s a good idea to keep the ScatMat on hand in case any new pets move into the neighborhood.

These are just a few of the remedies you can use to prevent cats from ruining your car. In many cases, it may take a combination of these methods to truly solve the problem.