Dogs are special creatures when it comes to putting things in their mouths; the things they choose to chew on and swallow will never cease to amaze me.
One of the most common questions we receive at the clinic, especially through the after-hours service are about silly things that dogs have eaten.
These phone calls range from the obvious like a whole steak off the kitchen bench, to things as bizarre as a wine glass or an ear pod!
So when do you need to be worried?
If the item a dog has eaten is a normal food item, like steak, bread or most vegetables there is little cause for concern.
Their digestive system is strong and will handle most of these without too much trouble.
However, some foods to be wary of include chocolate, sultanas/grapes, onion and anything with significant amounts of fat.
All of these can cause significant gastro upsets and potentially make your dog seriously unwell.
If the item ingested is inedible; think bed fluff, plastic, rope toys, garden pots, glass (!!), then there is more cause for concern.
If you see them eat these items or know they have within several hours of ingestion, the best option is to call the vet who will make your dog vomit.
This removes the foreign item from their system and eliminates the chance that it gets stuck on the way through.
If it has been longer than 3-4 hours, then it becomes a matter of monitoring your dog closely, specifically their appetite, defecation and for any vomiting or nausea.
Many things will pass, and people have stories about all sorts of gross things coming out of dog’s bottoms, but if your pet is one of the unlucky ones and it gets stuck, surgery is the only way to fix it.
So check with your vet if you have any concerns.
If the item is a household product that may be toxic like Round Up, washing liquid, car oil or paint then washing them thoroughly with water, especially their mouth and calling immediately for advice is the best option.
Products like Round Up are minimally toxic once dried on the plant, but if ingested in large quantities from the bottle are more dangerous.
If your pet does ingest something weird and wonderful there is now an animal poison’s service available through https://animalpoisons.com.au/.
So if you are ever in doubt and can’t get a hold of your vet, then this is a great resource.
The final big one to warn you about is corn cobs and socks.
These are the two most common foreign objects removed from dog’s gastrointestinal tracts and both can be bad news.
So next time you enjoy a corn on the cob, make sure it gets safely to the green bin and if you are missing a sock, then watch your sock stealing puppy closely!