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Foreign Objects

Help! My Pet Swallowed A...

Most pets, especially dogs, chew on things all the time, and they can swallow the strangest objects. Many of these swallowed foreign objects will pass through your pet's body without any problems, but some of them can cause physical discomfort or real danger to your pet.

What to Watch For

dog pulling on a blanketIf the object is small, you may never notice your pet swallowed it until you see it in the droppings. Larger or oddly shaped objects can cause injury or blockage. Watch for signs and call your veterinarians office if you suspect your pet is in trouble. Some of the signs include:

  • Vomiting
  • Reduced appetite or loss of appetite
  • Constipation or diarrhea
  • Your pet not wanting to move or crying when touched, which can indicate abdominal pain

What to Do

If you see a string, thread, or cord sticking out of your pet's mouth or bottom, don't cut it or try to pull it out. You may injure your pet or make it more difficult for our doctors to care for your pet. In any case, if you suspect your pet has swallowed a foreign object, call your veterinarian. If it's after hours, call our emergency veterinary hospital. Quick action can save your pet's health or even its life.

What do Pets Swallow?

Pets have been known to swallow any number of dangerous objects. Peach and plum pits, rubber ducks, coins, fridge magnets, and any other small objects that will fit in their mouth are just a few. Chewed objects can pose a danger because sharp edges can pierce the intestine, causing life-threatening peritonitis. Softer items such as socks, yarn, tinsel, or thread can ball up inside your pet's intestines and call a blockage, or wrap around internal organs and can even cut through them.

What Can Our Studio City Emergency Veterinarians Do?

In the case of your pet possibly swallowing a foreign object, our veterinarians will first question you to find out as much about your pet as possible. They'll ask you about what your pet might have swallowed, how long it's been inside your pet's system, and about your pet's general health. Our doctors will provide a thorough physical examination of your pet which may include x-rays, blood tests or ultrasounds. When a foreign object is identified, our doctor will consult with you on the correct procedure to remove the object. Your pet may need a general anesthetic if the doctor needs to operate to remove the foreign object. At that time, our doctor will examine your pet's intestines to make sure none of them are damaged, and may have to remove a portion of the intestine if it can't be repaired.

It's almost impossible to prevent pets from swallowing foreign objects, but a good pet owner is always watching out for her furry family members. Pay attention to your pet's behavior. If you have any questions about whether it has swallowed something it shouldn't, call our office right away at (818) 760-3882.

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Read What Our Clients Say

  • "Sammers is an 11 year old, Black, Domestic Short Hair Cat. His owner noticed that Sammers was pacing, walking around in circles at home and crying out in pain.

    "I would like to thank all of the staff who helped with Sammer's UTI. He was miserable, and you guys made him better. I cannot thank you enough for helping him. It is great to have a place to go when all the other vet clinics are closed.""
    Roxanne & "Sammers"- June 2012
  • "Kahlua is a very special service dog. He was brought in by his owner when she noticed that Kahlua was acting very painful and didn't want to jump. After a thorough exam Kahlua went home with some pain meds. Kahlua's mom stopped by our Facebook page to send us a note on his progress.

    "Just wanted to thank Dr. Cavanaugh, straight from the heart for seeing our Kahlua and putting our worries to rest. It was hilarious trying to get him to take his Tramadol.... cheese would not work but the Chunky Skippy did the trick. WE THINK YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!!!!! So thank you, straight from the heart.""
    Michelle & "Kahula" - July 2012