Shortly after young lab Jerry arrived, he threw up a little bit. Not pleasant, but not something to worry about. All it took was a quick clean-up and a little snuggle. About an hour later, he threw up two two-inch lag bolts, a piece of metal, fragments of kids’ toys, and a ball of wool. Yikes – Jerry was quickly off to the vet for an x-ray. Dr. Sheppard said his guts looked like a Marshall-Wells Hardware store. Lucky for Jerry, he passed two desk keys and some other gunk without needing surgery.
Sadly, we hear this story all too often. Skittles had surgery to remove a half ball that the neighbours’ children accidentally threw over the fence. Luckily he had eaten a small rock, which showed up on the x-ray. Maggie ate a bath towel. Carly usually passes socks, but needed $3500 in surgery to get the last one out. Shadow the vizsla has had two surgeries, the first to remove a Power Ranger, and the second, a small stuffed money. Sadly, Spike the dalmatian died after a baby pacifier gummed up his intestines.
Although anything small enough to swallow could be a problem, according to VIP Pet Insurance, the most common items dogs eat are socks, underwear, pantyhose, rocks, balls, chew toys, corn cobs, bones, hair ties/ribbons and sticks.
If your dog vomits a little bit, don’t worry about it, but if the vomiting is frequent or projectile, or if there is associated diarrhoea, blood, a fever, lethargy, or distended abdomen contact your veterinarian. If your dog ever throws up metal or other nasty objects, go to the vet. If you’re unsure, check their circulation, and if their gums are white, take them to the vet right away.
To prevent gastrointestinal obstruction, remove small objects from any place your dog has access to, and check their toys regularly to remove small or damaged items.