March 18, 2015

Foreign Body Ingestion

Author: Celeste Glassman


Things You Shouldn’t Find Inside Of Your Dog. The Scoop On Foreign Body Ingestion.

Have you heard of those stories about the crazy things vets have removed from the inside of a dog? A light bulb, barbie doll heads, 20 pacifiers? These types of things actually happen! It has been a little over a year since my dog Baloo had to be rushed to the vet for emergency surgery to remove part of my favorite leather belt from his small intestine.

Baloo has always been a bit of a trouble maker. He likes to rip up napkins, run around with our shoes, chew on socks, and destroy and eat any other miscellaneous items left in his reach. While we always try to make sure we “puppy proof” for our five-year-old boy, yes five, he still manages to find something that doesn’t belong to him. Some have said, “Oh, he will grow out of it.” Yes, our other two dogs did leave that behavior behind as they got older but I’ve come to realize that some pups can’t resist temptation. Baloo happens to be one of them.

After being gone from the house for only an hour, I discovered a pair of jeans and a belt buckle on the floor. Only the metal buckle! I had no doubt in my mind that Baloo was the culprit and ate the entire belt off of my jeans. The following days Baloo wouldn’t eat or drink and started to tremble in pain. A sure sign that something was wrong. After making a call to the vet, we rushed him in for x-rays. Unfortunately, the leather has the same consistency as tissue on an x-ray so it was very difficult to see a blockage. We all know our fur babies best, so we approved an ‘exploratory surgery’. A few hours later, Baloo was out of surgery and sure enough part of my belt had been ingested.

Three days later our block head came home with 20 staples in his belly. Bottom line, this can happen to anyone’s pet. A rope toy, sock, shoe lace, Legos, and the list goes on and on. Any of these items can cause a blockage. And surgeries can range upwards of $2,500 depending on the situation. If you notice the smallest piece of evidence that something may have been eaten be sure to look for these symptoms of foreign body ingestion:

  • Not eating
  • Cannot keep liquids down
  • Depression
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Excessive stretching

The longer a blockage lasts the more critical the condition can become. Lucky for us, Baloo is back to his goofy self again. He wears his collar with a bell when we are home so we can hear his movements throughout the house. It’s safe to say Baloo hangs out in his crate now whenever he is left home alone.

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