Thursday, September 04, 2008

Labradors may eat anything

I heard about this a number of years ago from a breeder friend who had Weimaraners. She said that her Weims would eat just about anything. Rocks were a favorite. Most times, the rocks would pass without a problem but occasionally there would be a blockage and serious surgery would result. Then, she had the crisis from her dog eating a pair of panty hose. That surgery ended in a tragedy in which the dog died from the hose having become entangled in the intestines.

I've always thought that Labradors were a bit more discriminating in their taste for foreign objects. Other than the disgusting habit of eating feces, I haven't had any problems with them eating mushrooms, toads, frogs, or manmade objects. Maybe it's because I heard about the Weims and have always been really careful about leaving things that are chewable or ingestible around the dogs. Even with toys, I've been careful that the stuffing doesn't get swallowed.

Most recently, I heard from Gracie's mom, Karoline, who wrote that Gracie had to have surgery to remove panty hose that she had swallowed. Only one internal incision was required in the stomach even though the hose had moved into the intestines. The surgeon was able to slowly remove the hose in order to keep from making a second incision.

I found some interesting information on the web about the most common items that have been surgically removed from the GI tract of pets:
1. socks
2. underwear
3. panty hose
4. rocks
5. balls
6. chew toys
7. corn cobs????
8. bones
9. hair ties and ribbons
10. sticks

According to a pet insurance company, dogs seem to eat almost everything including nails, needles,pagers, hearing aids, pieces of drywall, snail bait, batteries, rubber bands, toy cars, and sand with bacon grease poured on it.

Dogs that have ingested a foreign object usually show signs of gastrointestinal upset. If your dog refuses to eat, begins vomiting, drooling or has abnormal bowel movements, contact your veterinarian. It's important to contact the vet immediately that you suspect a foreign body has been swallowed.

The vet will take a radiograph to determine what has been swallowed and where the object is. Sometimes a dye must be ingested in order to determine the location of the foreign object.

The key to avoiding expensive surgery and danger to your dog is to prevention. Make sure objects that could be ingested are put away. If necessary restrict the free roaming of your dog in the house. It is also wise to never allow your dog to play with string or clothing.

It's great that Gracie is doing well. She nabbed the panty hose from the laundry basket. Just another curious Labrador but a really lucky one too!

1 comment:

trixie said...

Thanks for posting the helpful information. Poor Mia, while all this was going on. We/she should have been celebrating her birthday like her brother, Tobias. Instead we were caring for Gracie. But we did get to sing Happy Birthday to Mia and she got a special treat (outside) since we could not let Gracie have one due to her surgery. The Surry girls miss playing with one another but should be again soon.