Swallowing things they shouldn’t

Swallowing things they shouldn’t

Swallowing things they shouldn’t – and things “hanging out” the other end!
Dogs do tend to wolf down anything and everything – and not all the things they try to consume are good for them!  Sometimes they manage to swallow the most inappropriate of things ranging from socks and pants, through to needles and thread and many dodgy things in between.

If you know that your dog has swallowed, say a pair of your favourite undies or your kid’s sports socks, the best course of action is to try to get them to be sick ASAP before the item has a chance to become lodged in the gut.

Always speak to your vet when inducing vomiting for foreign objects – if an object has sharp edges or is jammed, vomiting could be dangerous so speaking to your vet immediately is a must

To induce vomiting (within 30 minutes if possible):

(using washing soda crystals – for large breeds us a piece @ the size of a walnut and scale down accordingly)
(hydrogen peroxide 3% 5-10 ml via syringe to the back of the throat – this procedure can be done twice if necessary)
(salt/mustard – 1 tablespoon diluted in ¼ cup of warm water)

Always have your dog checked out even if you have been successful in getting him to vomit just in case there has been damage to his throat, airway or gut.

If you are unable to get the dog to vomit, phone your vet and take him in immediately to have the dog examined professionally.  He will likely be given an emetic (drug to make him sick) by the vet in the hopes that the item will be safely expelled.  If, however, this does not work for him either, then your vet may decide that surgery is the safest option.

If you notice something hanging from your dog’s mouth, or his bottom, say a piece of sewing thread or fishing line, PLEASE RESIST THE URGE TO PULL IT!

Because you are unaware of just how long the thread or the line is, it might actually be caught within the dog’s gut or intestines and pulling on it could do him serious damage.

Likewise, if there was a needle or fish hook attached to the line when it was swallowed, you could well be risking serious internal damage by tugging on the line or thread.

Without exception, a situation such as this requires a trip to the vet.  Your vet will need to x-ray your dog to ascertain whether there is a needle or hook attached and if so it will need to be removed carefully by your vet, likely under anaesthetic/surgical guidance.

(N.B. regarding Nyla-Bones:  I have recently been made aware of an incident regarding Nyla-Bones, specifically the ones that smells of liver and bacon.  My friend’s dog swallowed one of these bones whole, presumably because the liver and bacon smell made him think it was real food.  When she took him to the vet it was found that Nyla-Bones DO NOT show up on x-rays.  Due to the size and shape of the bone, inducing vomiting in this particular case was not recommended and he had to undergo stomach surgery instead as an emergency procedure – so PLEASE be careful with them.)

If you notice a fish hook in your dog’s mouth, perhaps caught in his lip or tongue, it is important to remove it as quickly as possible before it causes further damage or distress to your dog.

If the hook has gone right through the skin, restrain the dog (taking care not to get yourself bitten) – a second pair of hands is a good idea for this!

Use wire cutters to cut off the barbed end of the hook and then retract the straight end of the hook out, ideally pulling in the direction it was going.

Fishing Hook with Barb
Fishing Hook with Barb

Remember to clean the wound with a mild antiseptic once you have removed it.

If the hook is embedded in the skin, DO NOT try to remove the hook yourself.  Your dog will need to see a vet who will be able to remove the hook for you, likely under sedation.