If you're familiar with dogs, you probably know just how much the furry creatures love putting random things into their mouth, especially if they're curious. Although this behavior might seem innocuous at first, it can be a major risk to them. Accidental consumption of toys is all too common in the canine world.
Intestinal blockage is a potentially extremely dangerous medical issue in dogs, and is often caused by swallowing random items such as toys. When this situation occurs, the swallowed items end up stuck either in the stomach or in the intestines. Intestinal blockage isn't rare in dogs, and is particularly prevalent in youngsters who are apt to put their mouths on things. In some cases, intestinal blockage can lead to fatal results in canines.
Dogs frequently swallow small toys -- or tiny parts of them -- when they're playing around. Toys made for kids are often swallowed, as are toys made for canines. The dangerous swallowing isn't restricted to things that were designed for playtime, however. Dogs also often swallow things that they designate as toys on their own -- think rocks, dimes and bones galore.
Small toys are often a big danger to dogs, simply because they can be swallowed so quickly and so easily. When shopping for toys for your beloved pooch, always see to it that they make sense with your cutie's specific size. Aim for toys that are adequately big so that your dog cannot swallow them intact. Note, too, that not only are little toys potentially harmful, so are toys that are equipped with pieces that can come off easily -- think wee bows and other accessories, for example. If a dog can gnaw off a little piece of his favorite toy, he just might want to swallow it, or it could happen intentionally. If you ever notice that any of your pets' toys seem worn down and on the verge of shattering, play it safe and throw them out immediately. Speak to your veterinarian about the safest toy options available to your pet.
If you catch your dog swallowing a toy or anything similar, or if you notice any symptoms of intestinal obstruction, immediate veterinary care is vital. Some common signs of intestinal blockage in canines are refusal to eat, throwing up, stomach ache, exhaustion and dehydration. Blockages occasionally can bring upon diarrhea. Waste not a millisecond in getting your pooch to the veterinarian in these types of situations. Surgical extraction of the problematic toy is a relatively common form of management for the dangerous dilemma.
- Merck Veterinary Manual: Gastrointestinal Obstruction in Small Animals
- London Vet Clinic: Intestinal Obstruction in Dogs
- Michigan Veterinary Specialists: Gastrointestinal Foreign Body
- The Humane Society of the United States: Dog Toys
- DogChannel.com: Dog Vomiting is Often a Sign of Intestinal Obstruction
- Jason Debus Heigl Foundation: Gastrointestinal Obstruction
- Jupiterimages/Photos.com/Getty Images