Dogs have an unfortunate habit of eating things that they shouldn’t, sometimes it’s overexcited playing, sometimes they like the taste of something and sometimes it is just one of those things!
We’ve seen dogs that have attempted to swallow, for example, a squash ball, which then gets lodged in the back of the throat, blocking both the oesophagus and the airway, the dog will suffocate unless the object is removed promptly. Bits of bone, or plastic, fish hooks etc can all get lodged in the mouth, but other things can be swallowed and then cause problems. This includes poisons, which are made to be tasty to mice and rats, but are also tasty to dogs. The big problem we have with poisons is that we rarely know how much was eaten, or how long ago, and very often, even what sort of poison it was!. Cats will eat rats and mice that have been poisoned (and thus easier to catch!), ingesting the poison as well.
Some things that are swallowed, we can make the pet vomit to bring them up, these things include such items as socks and other pieces of underwear, cloths, medicines (human or animal – many dog pills are now made flavoured, so the dog thinks they are treats and will eat any he or she can find, we have had dogs eating large quantities of the human contraceptive pill, whole tubs of palatable painkillers etc etc). Medicines tend to be absorbed in about an hour so if we are to make the dog vomit we have to do it quickly – there is an injection to do this. However, it is dangerous to make a dog vomit if what they have swallowed could cause more damage coming up than it did going down. Things with sharp edges on them such as pieces of plastic, needles, many children’s toys can cause a lot of damage if attempts are made to vomit them up. These animals often have to undergo surgery to have them removed.
Things we have removed from dog’s stomachs in this practice include, plastic toy soldiers, knickers, socks, J cloths, golf balls, the metal end of a light bulb, tights, peach stones, rubber bands, bits of string, rocks etc etc. We also saw one rabbit that had started chewing newspaper and managed to seal it’s mouth shut by creating a ball of papier mache in its mouth!
Other vets have reported brillo pads, a pack of safety razors, a box of unused staples, cattle hoof trimmings, leather belts, , bra straps, a full length riding crop (from a Saint Bernard) and an unopened Kinder egg, the nurses opened the egg after the surgery and made a slightly stained model helicopter to give back to owner when they collected their dog!