What to do if your dog swallows a foreign object? (2023)

Dogs explore their world with their mouths, savoring andchew onAs a result, they swallow foreign objects that can make them sick.dogsIt can accidentally swallow some things when a piece of a toy breaks or something falls on the floor without the owner's knowledge. Other dangerous objects are very tempting: used tampons and even grease-stained sheets are irresistible to bin-rummaging pups looking for trash. Foreign object obstruction in puppies can be a medical emergency that can cost money and your pup's life if not treated immediately.

Commonly Swallowed Items

Pet Insurance Veterinary Coroners ranked the 10 most common items surgically removed from the GI tract of pets. The most common element isparish, followed by underwear, socks, rocks, balls, chew toys, ears of corn, bones, hair bows/ribbons, and toothpicks. Most of the items tend to be owner-scented items, but the list goes on and on.

They often swallow toys or parts of toys, jewelry, coins, safety pins, erasers, and paper clips. Cord, thread (with or without a needle), hooks and string, Christmas tree decorations, and string are extremely dangerous. Roast turkey string is particularly tempting, so watch out for holiday food hazards. And for pups who can chew the object, pieces of wood or bone are dangerous. Even chewing too much rawhide can clog the intestines. The pups can even eat rocks.


Never pull on the visible end of the rope, so that it does not protrude from the puppy's mouth or rectum. The thread and string are usually attached to a needle, hook, or tissue-embedded organ further down the digestive tract. Pulling on the cord in your side can further damage the intestines and be fatal.

(Video) Dog that has swallowed a foreign object.

First aid for swallowed objects

If the object was swallowed within an hour or two, it is probably still in the stomach. Call your vet right away to see if they recommend inducing vomiting at the vet clinic. You may be advised to go inside immediately to induce vomiting or call an animal poison hotline (such as the ASPCA Animal Poison Control Hotline) if there are any concerns about toxicity. In some situations, they may recommend inducing vomiting at home (however, it is not recommended without a veterinarian's guidance due to some safety concerns with home methods).

After two hours, the object has entered the intestine, and vomiting does not help. You will still want to ask your vet for advice. Many objects small enough to pass through the digestive system can be excreted in the stool and won't cause problems (but do thisNotake chances with coins or batteries). Feed them a heavy meal of kibble to cushion rocks or other heavy objects and help them move along. Eating also activates digestive juices, which can help soften rawhide treat balls so they pass more easily.

In most cases, objects, as long as they are small enough, pass harmlessly through the body and end up in the grass. Monitor your pup's productivity. Use a disposable popsicle stick or plastic knife to break up the dog's poop and search for the object.

(Video) Living808 - What to do when your pet swallows an object

If your dog swallows the following items, be very careful:

  • Sharp objects:Call your vet and be prepared to go to the vet immediately.
  • Metal objects such as coins or batteries:The exception to allowing the passage of small objects are swallowed metal objects, such as coins or batteries. Do not wait; Let your pup see it right away. Stomach acid interacts with these metal objects, causing zinc or lead poisoning.
  • string:Rope is another dangerous object if swallowed and requires you to seek professional help.


If you saw the animal swallow something it shouldn't and it becomes lethargic, has a loss of appetite,To vomit,Strangle,Diarrhea, coughs repeatedly, or appears distressed, seek help immediately. Any object, even the smallest, can become lodged in the intestinal tract and block it.

Symptoms of swallowed objects

The diagnosis can be based on watching the puppy swallow something or on the symptoms. It is confirmed with X-rays or other diagnostics, such as an endoscope, to identify the exact location and size of the blockage, and sometimes to identify the object itself.The specific signs depend on where the blockage is and the type of object. Any of the following signs means your pet needs immediate veterinary attention: vomiting, diarrhea, decreased energy or interest in getting up, decreased appetite, inability to keep food or water down, retching, swollen abdomen, hunchback, or apparent pain.

(Video) My Dog Ate a Foreign Body! Now What?

  • An object stuck in the stomach or intestines will cause vomiting, lethargy, and dehydration that will need to be addressed by your vet. It can sometimes come and go for days or weeks if the blockage is not complete and food spills, but if signs are seen, a visit to a vet is in order to help your pet.
  • A complete lockout is a medical emergency that leads to aswollen and painful abdomenoften with vomiting. The dog refuses food and immediately vomits up everything he drinks. These are often fatal.
  • Signs of zinc toxicity (from coins) include pale gums, bloody urine, jaundice (a yellow tinge to the whites of the eyes or ears) along with vomiting, diarrhea, and refusal to eat.
  • Lead poisoning from batteries can also cause teeth grinding, seizures, and hyperactivity.Appetitverlustand vomiting.
  • Copper poisoning has similar signs, apart from a swollen abdomen.
  • Thread-like objects can get stuck in the mouth between the teeth and swallow the rest.

What to do if your dog swallows a foreign object? (1)

The intestines propel food forward using muscular contractions called peristalsis, which move along the length of the intestine (like an earthworm) to expel the contents. But if a foreign body gets caught at one end like a string, the intestine literally "pushes together" as if woven into a thread, creating a sort of accordion formation. The result is sudden and severe vomiting and diarrhea, as well as rapid dehydration. Your vet should evaluate each blockage situation to determine the best course of treatment. Surgery is often needed to remove the obstruction.

Treatment of swallowed objects

If the blockage is not resolved immediately, the resulting damage could become irreparable. Sharp objects can cut or puncture the intestines, and obstructing objects can affect blood flow to organs and cause death of intestinal tissue. In both cases, peritonitis occurs and is often fatal.

(Video) What To Do If Your Dog Swallows Something He Shouldn't?

Once found, the item will be removed. Sometimes the vet can do this with a scope down the pup's throat or through the rectum or through surgery.Any internal damage will be repaired. If surgery can correct the problem before peritonitis sets in, most puppies will make a full recovery. If the tissue dies, the damaged sections of the intestine can be removed and the living parts of the intestine replaced; These pups often have a good prognosis, but much depends on the specific site of surgery and the degree of damage that was present at the time.

This will prevent your dog from swallowing a foreign object.

Most puppies outgrow indiscriminate feeding. The best way is to prevent your dog from swallowing dangerous objects. To choosesafe toy for dogsthat can not be chewed into small pieces and supervise the game of objects. Always keep things secure and only allow chewing under your supervision. Anything a small child puts in their mouth is fair game for puppies.Dog-proof your homeThinking like your dog, so you won't be caught off guard when your dog eats the rubber bumpers on your door frames. Keep litter away from your dogs, regardless of their age.

Signs that your dog is in pain

(Video) Dog Eats a Sock: Obstruction Signs and 3 Remedies

If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. Always consult your vet with any health concerns, as they have examined your pet, know your pet's medical history, and can provide the best recommendations for your pet.


How long can it take for a dog to pass a foreign object? ›

When something is ingested by your dog, it usually takes between 10-24 hours to move through the entire digestive tract. Some objects, however, can take much longer – even months! Sometimes, objects are too big to progress through the digestive tract, and when this is the case, they cause an obstruction.

Can foreign objects stay in dogs stomach? ›

If the dog does not vomit a foreign body back up, it may remain lodged in the stomach if it is too large to pass through the valve to the small intestine. Most objects will however pass through this valve, and can make an irregular passage along the intestine if they are small enough.

Can dogs poop out foreign objects? ›

Dogs are notorious for swallowing paper, tissues, articles of clothing, sticks, wicker, bones, food wrappers, rocks, and other foreign objects. Some of these objects will pass through the intestinal tract without problem. It is common for dog owners to report finding all sorts of objects in their dog's stool or vomit.

How do I know if my dog has an intestinal blockage? ›

Symptoms of a Bowel Obstruction
  1. Vomiting, especially when repetitive.
  2. Weakness.
  3. Diarrhea.
  4. Loss of appetite.
  5. Dehydration due to inability to hold any water down.
  6. Bloating.
  7. Abdominal pain.
  8. Hunching or whining.

Can a dog still poop with a blockage? ›

Sometimes. If the blockage is caused by a foreign body, the dog can often pass it through the gastrointestinal tract and out in the stool. Your vet may recommend fluid therapy—either IV (through a vein) or subcutaneous (under the skin)—to address dehydration and help the object pass.

How do you clear an intestinal blockage in a dog? ›

Dog intestinal blockage surgery is a major procedure, requiring your dog to be anesthetized. After the surgery, your dog will stay at the hospital and recover for several days. For the intestinal surgery, your vet will make an incision into your dog's abdomen near the blockage site and carefully extract the object.

How can I help my dog pass a blockage? ›

Beyond rehydrating, fluids can also encourage the GI tract to push the blockage down through the intestines and out of your dog's body. Some foreign objects, given time, can pass on their own.

How much does it cost to remove a foreign object from a dog? ›

Cost of surgery to remove a foreign object from a dog or cat

Typically, you can expect to pay between $2,000 and $5,000. As for endoscopy, the typical cost is between $800 and $2,000.

Can things get stuck in dog's stomach? ›

Large or irregularly shaped objects may get stuck somewhere along the digestive system and result in your dog needing urgent veterinary attention. Certain breeds are over represented as they are renowned indiscriminate eaters (eg Labradors), with younger dogs and puppies also having a higher incidence.

How soon will a dog show signs of a blockage? ›

The symptoms of an intestinal blockage generally occur within 24 hours after swallowing the problematic item. However, depending on where the item lodges, the time frame may vary—the earlier in the system the item is lodged, the sooner symptoms will emerge.

Will a sock pass through a dog? ›

Socks may seem relatively benign, but they can actually wreak considerable havoc while traveling through your dog's digestive tract. They'll occasionally pass through a dog's digestive system without much trouble, but it is always a situation to take seriously.

How much does dog intestinal blockage surgery cost? ›

On average, pet owners should expect to spend anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 on intestinal blockage surgery. To help you plan for this expense, ask your veterinary team for a cost estimate prior to the procedure.

How long can a dog survive with a blockage? ›

For a dog with an intestinal blockage, it's imperative that the timeline between the incident and treatment is short. Missing these signs of bowel obstruction and abdominal twisting can lead to very serious consequences. Left untreated, complications typically lead to fatality within 3 to 7 days.

How to make a dog throw up after swallowing a foreign object? ›

Hydrogen peroxide 3-percent solution is the recommended medication for making a dog throw up. Luckily, it is something many of us have in our medicine cabinet. It's also a good idea to include a bottle in your dog's travel first aid kit.

How long does it take for a foreign object to pass? ›

What You Should Expect: Swallowed objects almost always make it to the stomach. Once there, they usually travel safely through the intestines. They are passed in a normal stool in 2 or 3 days.

Can a dog naturally pass a blockage? ›

Some foreign objects, given time, can pass on their own. However, when it comes to a timeline for intestinal blockage in dogs, time is absolutely of the essence. If the object does not pass on its own and your dog has the symptoms listed above, your dog will need to be treated as soon as possible.

What can I give my dog to help pass an obstruction? ›

If your dog is dehydrated, your vet will give them IV fluids. Beyond rehydrating, fluids can also encourage the GI tract to push the blockage down through the intestines and out of your dog's body. Some foreign objects, given time, can pass on their own.

How much does it cost to remove a blockage from a dog? ›

On average, you should expect to spend anywhere from $2,000 to $10,000 on intestinal blockage surgery. Learn about the different types of surgery and how the costs add up. Intestinal blockage is a common emergency condition in dogs and cats, and it can be scary to get this diagnosis for your pet.

Will a foreign object work its way out? ›

They will slowly work their way out with normal shedding of the skin. Sometimes, the body also will reject them by forming a little pimple. This will drain on its own. Or you can open up the pimple.

Can a foreign object get stuck in stomach? ›

Foreign bodies are ingested objects that can get stuck in the digestive tract and sometimes perforate (pierce) it. Foreign bodies may be accidentally or intentionally swallowed. Foreign bodies may cause no symptoms or may cause symptoms depending on where they become stuck.

How do you know if something is stuck in your intestines? ›

Signs and symptoms of intestinal obstruction include:
  1. Crampy abdominal pain that comes and goes.
  2. Loss of appetite.
  3. Constipation.
  4. Vomiting.
  5. Inability to have a bowel movement or pass gas.
  6. Swelling of the abdomen.
Jan 20, 2021

Can a dog pass a sock? ›

After your dog eats a sock, you must watch their poop closely to make sure it passes. If there's still no sign of the sock after 24 hours, schedule a visit to the vet, so they can take a look. At that point, it's likely stuck somewhere in the digestive tract and in need of surgical removal.


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