What to do when a dog swallows a foreign object

What to do when a dog swallows a foreign object

A dog is a curious creature and sometimes swallows an object that it should not.

This usually happens to puppies who explore the world around them by chewing, biting, and sniffing. If an object is smaller, the puppy will swallow it without thinking.

What to do when a dog swallows a foreign object? If you suspect that your dog has swallowed a foreign body or you have seen him do so, contact your veterinarian.

What are the signs that a dog has swallowed a foreign body

It means that your dog has swallowed a foreign body when:

– Loss of appetite
– Diarrhea
– Constipation
– Abdominal pain
– Lethargy
– Vomiting

A dog can swallow various foreign objects

The dog is man’s best four-legged friend and sometimes the owner is almost unaware of the role that the pet has in his life.

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That changes in an instant, if the pet gets sick or something else happens to him.

Apart from the beautiful moments in the life of a man and a dog, the owner has a lot of work to do in order to preserve the health of his pet.

On the one hand, these are common procedures related to vaccination, nutrition, and care, but what the owner needs to open his eyes to is the behavior of a pet which, like a playful child, can cause serious problems due to its curiosity.

The dog’s carelessness and his play

It is characteristic for dogs that during the game and fetching objects, they swallow a foreign body with food.

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The list of little things that get into a pet’s mouth is long and surprisingly diverse, so there are:

– stones
– cork
– marble
– sponges
– cloths
– socks
– plastic bags
– pieces of clothing
– even bottle stoppers, styrofoam, and twine.

Sometimes swallowing these items is a consequence of a wrong diet that forces the dog to look for the missing substances.

In this case, it is a mineral-vitamin imbalance of calcium and phosphorus, and vitamins A and D, invasion of intestinal parasites, or inflammation of the stomach.

However, the reason can also be the pet’s curiosity, play, or simply disobedience and a strong desire to do what we are not allowed to do.

In any case, problems arise after that act. The foreign object can stay in the stomach longer without causing any damage.

That is the reason why it is difficult to make a diagnosis in this case.

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If the object is not eliminated, it takes some time until it causes damage to its mucous membrane.

An unstoppable process of expelling a foreign object from the body

Mechanical damage occurs when a foreign object begins to disintegrate and releases the chemicals of which it is composed, or closes the outlet to the intestines and creates an additional problem with the inability to drain the contents.

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In the first case, the slowness of the process leads to the gradual development of symptoms, but that process is unstoppable.

A foreign body can sometimes be seen on the outside of the body of young and lean dogs.

In order to diagnose it with certainty, a recording is needed.

Symptoms may include weakness or loss of appetite, vomiting or irritation, and frequent hiccups.

In severe cases, the symptoms are the same as for damage to the gastric mucosa and catarrhal inflammation.

What is certainly noticeable is the constant weight loss and behavior change. The dog becomes unhappy, cannot take food, and drinks more water than usual and often vomits. Literally, the owner has the feeling that the dog is disappearing in front of him.

If a foreign body is diagnosed, the solution is usually a surgical approach, because everything else can hardly cause the contents to be expelled.

The passage between the stomach and intestines is not as wide as the highway, and it is necessary to take care of everything that falls into the pet’s mouth so that these fine digestive mechanisms are not damaged and disabled.

Intestinal obstruction when swallowing a foreign object

In some cases, the foreign body manages to pass from the stomach into the intestines, to which the puppies are most susceptible.

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It happens that the worms in their duodenum are so densely intertwined, that they form piles that are literally stuck.

That is why it is necessary for the puppies to be cleaned of parasites in the first 21 days from the day of birth.

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Tubular chicken bones, which cannot be crushed, also cause problems for young dogs, and they crack and mix with feces more easily with such irregular surfaces, making larger piles that are difficult to expel, and along the way, they damage the intestinal mucosa with sharp edges.

The symptoms are also quite vague and reminiscent of inflammation of the intestines, with the impossibility of emptying and weakening of appetite.

Due to the accumulation of food and gases, the stomach swells, and that is already a symptom that causes serious suspicion. In contrast, owners very often confuse intestinal inflammation with constipation.

The dog tries to defecate, but without success, so the owner thinks it is constipation.

In this case, it is an inflammation of the intestines that creates such irritation that the dog constantly strains to expel the contents that do not actually exist.

What to do when a dog swallows a foreign object

Due to the impossibility of noticing the problem in time, the owner should focus on prophylaxis.

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The owner should carefully monitor the dog’s behavior and not allow him to tear toys, slippers, or sneakers whose pieces he can swallow.

It is the same with the remains of meat products and their casings, which smell tempting but are indigestible.

As long as the unwanted content can be eliminated, there are no problems, but if it remains in the pet’s body, and symptoms appear that indicate problems.

The owner should immediately take the dog to a veterinarian who will take the necessary measures, including surgery if necessary.

The owner’s task would be, as always, to look after the dog and monitor its behavior.

Every change in everyday life means that something is happening to the pet.

It is also very important that the owner is able to convey to the veterinarian everything that preceded the change in the dog’s behavior, which will only speed up the diagnosis.

Bizarre cases of swallowing foreign objects in dogs

There is a well-known example of a young German hunting terrier who, at the autopsy (at the request of the owner who was convinced that the dog died of Distemper), found a stomach obstruction with pig skins around which worms were wrapped in large numbers.

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Unforgettable is also the information about a young dachshund who swallowed a 6.5-meter rope with several knots on it.


Swallowing a foreign object by a dog can be a big problem. If you do not do the right thing, this can endanger your dog’s health and in some cases can lead to the dog’s death.

As a dog is a part of your life, your task is to take care of him and follow his habits and activities.

If you notice any abnormalities or symptoms that indicate that you have swallowed a foreign body, contact your veterinarian who will help you solve any problem.

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