Veterinarians Warn About Dogs Eating Killer Items

 |  Dec 28th 2006  |   0 Contributions


Dr. Allbright and Wall of Fame at the Museum of Foreign Body Ingestion.jpg

Thanks to MSNBC for this warning!

The dog who ate a butcher knife, and other tales
He swallowed what? How to protect pets who munch everything in sight
By Sandy Robins
MSNBC

Like most mothers of small children, Jenny Biggs of Cary, N.C., is constantly picking up the toys left scattered around the house. But one day her son's prized Ernie doll was nowhere to be found.

When Brandy, the familys boxer, suddenly started vomiting and refused to eat, Biggs feared the animal may have swallowed the little stuffed doll. She rushed her pet to the veterinarian.


An X-ray proved her right.

There was Ernie, causing a major gastro-intestinal blockage in the dog. Wasting no time, Dr. Sandy Albright of the Crossroads Veterinary Hospital in nearby Raleigh performed emergency surgery. Brandy made a full recovery.

Ernie, however, was not so lucky.

Pets eat crazy and bizarre items all the time, says Albright. Usually its very accessible stuff around the house, such as toys, laundry items, cell phones." Everyday items like jewelry or dental floss can prove especially tempting and life-threatening for pets. Trash cans are also hazardous territory; Albright has seen dogs who've gobbled down wooden meat skewers and discarded corn cobs.

Dr. Mike Pavletic of the Angel Animal Medical Center in Boston tells the story of a couple whose dog gulped the bride's engagement ring. They spent an anxious night on the eve of their wedding waiting patiently for their pet to give it back.

Then there's the infamous tale of one woman who became furious when shown what caused her dog's gastro-obstruction the remains of a pair of racy, red panties.

"They weren't hers," says Pavletic.

Shouldn't puppies grow out of it?
All puppies and kittens chew household objects especially when they are teething, explains Albright. Most stop around the age of 6 months when they get their permanent teeth.

But certain pets don't outgrow their oral fixations.

As breeds go, labradors are known gnawers. For other dogs, odd digestive habits may be a form of pica, a craving for unnatural foods like gravel and rocks. Dogs have been known to ingest several pounds at a time.

Cats are attracted to string and ribbons and often unintentionally swallow these items. Pet snakes have been known to ingest light bulbs left lying around the home, says Albright.

The desire to warn pet owners of the dangers lurking in their homes prompted Albright to open The Museum of Foreign Body Ingestion at her animal care facility. On display are some of the weird and wacky items Albright has surgically removed from pets over the last five years.

The Wall of Fame exhibit includes: Ernies mangled remains, 6-inch nails, 15 cents (a dime and five pennies), and the remnants of a pocket book devoured by a cat.

One of the saddest items is a sports bra that a 13-month-old Weimaraner named Nova choked down after nosing it out of her owners a gym bag.

Albright and her team had to perform three operations to remove the bra from the dogs stomach and deal with resulting complications. The damage to the dogs esophagus was so severe she died 10 days later.

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