My dog ​​who has swallowed a foreign body: how to act?


Our dogs are so funny when they parade around the house with a sock in their mouth. A funny situation but dangerous. Because depending on the size and shape of the object, its ingestion can turn into drama. What to do if your doggie has swallowed a foreign object?

What is a foreign body?

We call foreign body any element coming from theoutside and which is found in the dog’s body. The objects ingested include both a bone and a stick, a sock, underwear, a toy, a pine cone, a pebble, a small ball, a nut…. Even more serious if the animal has swallowed batteries, a battery, food or medicine from its owner, plants or products toxic. A small foreign body can escape naturally while a larger object can cause a occlusion bowel requiring veterinary surgery.

Symptoms of a dog who has swallowed a foreign object

Symptoms will vary depending on theplace where the object got stuck.

  • The presence of a foreign body in the top of thesmall intestine will cause frequent vomiting with a foul odor, as well as diarrhea;
  • Located in thestomach or the large intestine, the obstruction can cause a gradual or very rapid deterioration of the general condition of the animal. He may stop eating (anorexia) and drinking (dehydration). If he is suffering from abdominal pain, he will probably show apathetic or on the contrary more agitated than usual … Some dogs with foreign bodies in the gastrointestinal tract may not vomit;
  • In case of perforation, the dog will present internal bleeding which may result in the appearance of blood in their stools, urine or vomit;
  • The presence of an object in theesophagus will manifest as attempted vomiting or excessive salivation. We can also observe distress respiratory if the foreign body is large and puts pressure on the dog’s trachea;
  • A blockage at the pharynx, larynx or trachea may cause collapse (collapse) or lack of oxygen (anoxia). Your dog will then suffocate;
  • If the object is not toxic or bulky, it may not cause any damage to the body of the animal and come out through the natural ways. However, beware of partial intestinal obstruction which remains silent as the dog continues to feed but which ends up causing infection, perforation or complete obstruction.

My dog ​​swallowed a foreign body: the major risks

Depending on the type of object swallowed and its location in the body, consequences can be more or less serious:

  • Troubles digestive (irritation, diarrhea, vomiting, severe abdominal pain);
  • Occlusion intestinal;
  • Perforation of the intestinal wall;
  • Poisoning, poisoning;
  • Infection (this can be of parasitic origin if the foreign body is contaminated);
  • Peritonitis (serious or even fatal infection).

How to react when a dog has swallowed a foreign object?

In the event of ingestion of an object, several actions immediate steps are to be taken:

  • If you manage to open your dog’s mouth and see the object that is choking him, try to remove. Be careful not to push it deeper into his throat and stay alert because he could bite you;
  • If you cannot grasp the foreign body, you can practice the Heimlich adapted to the size of the dog (depending on whether it is small or large, the maneuver will differ). This first aid gesture aims to free the tracks respiratory;
  • If despite your efforts the object remains stuck, notify your veterinarian and apply the instructions that he will give you;
  • In any case, do not try to do To vomit your dog to expel the object because the cure is worse than the disease. There are medical means to induce vomiting but they are exclusively reserved to professionals.

Ingestion of a foreign body: diagnosis and treatment

First, the veterinarian performs a palpation. If he suspects the presence of an object in the stomach or intestine, he will complete the examination with X-rays or ultrasounds. An x-ray with products of contrast is sometimes necessary if the foreign body does not appear on X-rays. Then, various treatments can be implemented:

  • If the dog is weak and has vomited several times, a solution of rehydration will usually be administered intravenously to alleviate dehydration;
  • If there is a foreign body in the stomach or intestine that is often painful, medication Pain killer will generally be prescribed for the animal;
  • If the object has been swallowed recently, the vet may try to get it out by giving medicine that causes vomiting;
  • When attempts at vomiting are unsuccessful or appear unsuitable, the object can be removed using a endoscope (a rigid or flexible tube generally introduced by natural means);
  • If the foreign body is in the intestine, a surgical intervention is often advocated. Surgery aims to remove the object (gastrotomy or enterotomy) and if necessary, to remove the damaged portion of the intestine (enterectomy).

My dog ​​swallowed a foreign body: prevent and act

Chewing, or even swallowing anything, is a behavior frequent in young dogs but which fortunately tends to disappear when they grow older. In the meantime, it is important tolearn very early on to his doggie not to chew any object and item of clothing by addressing a “no!” Firm and encouraging her to have fun with her own toys. The teacher should also get into the habit of putting away objects that may present a risk for the animal. In any case, if your hairball has swallowed a foreign object, take action very quickly because his health may suffer. If he has ingested a toxic product like batteries, you will save his life.

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