My Dog Ate My Homework!
We have all heard this once or a hundred times in our lives. Most of the time there is an intrepid kid trying to get out of some boring math assignment; however the origins of this phrase have some validity when it comes to the behavior of our canine friends. The fact of the matter is, our dogs are curious and willing “chewers”, and as such are very much capable of eating unattended objects including toys or decorative items among others. Depending on the object, this could be a very serious situation. The reality is that in many cases the items are chewed up into pieces prior to being swallowed and they pass through your pet’s GI track without mayor incident. Sometimes we can see the evidence, but in most cases we won’t because…..well …none of us like getting that close to our dog’s poop! If you ever suspect your pet of swallowing something, look for signs of distress. If your pet is eating, drinking and defecating normally, then he/she is probably fine. However, if your pet is vomiting, lame or inactive and stops eating and drinking, contact your veterinarian as you may be dealing with a more serious situation. A comprehensive physical exam and X-rays will probably be necessary to assess the level or severity of the situation.
The best prevention is keeping loose objects away from the reach of our pets. However, if you suspect some unwanted chewing action, watch for the signs of distress and contact your veterinarian immediately.