Dog swallowed toy

aniceeMay 31, 2012

I was fostering puppies for my local shelter and got them safe toys, like Kongs but my big dog got a hold of one, chewed on it and swallowed the tip of it who got stuck in his lower intestine and he required surgery which he had yesterday afternoon. I only found out it was part of the small Kong when the vet called me after surgery to ask me if I had a small blue Kong at home.

The surgery went well and the vet didn't have to remove a section of the bowel where the toy 'rested', it was inflamed but no necrosis which is good news. She just called to tell me he was in some pain this morning so she gave him more pain meds.

I hate knowing he's in pain and the recovery will be long and I almost feel guilty to agree for him to have surgery. I feel guilty enough about not seeing that Kong early enough and put it in the puppies crate. Vet expects a full recovery.

Did someone on this forum ever gone through this with one their dogs?. He's a big dog of over 60 lbs. The procedure is quite costly. He's been at the clinic since Tuesday. I'm going to see him this afternoon. He might come out Saturday. I just hate the thought he was in pain and must be uncomfortable.



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FWIW, our cat Misha had swallowed a hooded sweatshirt's drawstring while in the care of my ex-husband (I was out-of-town). They discovered the "cord" via x-ray (it was looped through her intestines), and opened her up all down her belly to remove the cord. She was barely 1 yr old at the time, and lived to 16+ yrs.

If they are monitoring him, and administering pain meds as/when needed, I am sure they are doing what they can to keep him comfortable as he recovers. One suggestion would be to ask if the meds will make it difficult for him to "go." In humans, opiate derived pain meds can be constipating, and another one of our cats appeared to experience some pain-med induced constipation following major surgery. The vet gave us Enulose or Lactulose for her, (we also used a baby thermometer well-lubed with Vaseline) to help her go.

Good luck with your boy!

    Bookmark   May 31, 2012 at 11:10AM
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I have removed many dozens of objects from dog stomachs and intestines, though not of one of my own pets (yet)... very common situation. Though actually removing part of a Kong is not that common as those are harder to chew up (at least for dogs that don't have immense jaws). Often dogs will chew up toys in very tiny pieces and those will often make it all the way through... but blockages are one of the more common situations I see on emergency in dogs.

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 1:44PM
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Thank you catmom and lzfddr the Kong was a very small one for puppies and I'm surprised he didn't swallow the entire Kong.


    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 5:37PM
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Bumblebeez SC Zone 7

Lzrddr, your not Megan by any chance?

    Bookmark   June 1, 2012 at 7:55PM
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no... I think I am a lot older than Megan (think she's been out of vet school a short time?).... I live in Los Angeles and do mostly emergency work now, though in the past I was mostly an exotic animal and dog/cat vet.

    Bookmark   June 2, 2012 at 7:15PM
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lzrddr, how do you know if a dog has swallowed something and has a blockage? As in, if you didn't see them do it, what are the signs for an owner to look for that they may have swallowed something and it got stuck.

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 2:36PM
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Vomiting is the main symptom, but many many dogs and cats vomit for reasons other than a blockage. Not being able to keep anything down, projectile green or yellow vomit, anorexia, painful abdomen are all suspicious symptoms, but short of seeing evidence on a radiograph, those signs could all be a dozen other problems.

I had a dog in two nights ago that ate chicken bones and a wadded piece of metal and had a very painful abdomen, vomiting, not eating and was very dehydrated... but when we radiographed it, we realized it was vomiting because it had a urinary tract obstruction... Even though we could see the metal object in the stomach, the dog was ill because it had a completely unrelated problem... in other words, there is no way to know if a dog has blockage without seeing more evidence of one, either with radiographs or ultrasound (a bit harder to dx with ultrasound).

    Bookmark   June 3, 2012 at 4:02PM
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Thanks lzrddr. I have two little shih tzus who are always picking things up or stealing them and chewing on them. One of them in particular will watch you put something down and as soon as your back is turned she will sneak in behind you and walk off with it so I've become paranoid about rubber bands, pins of any type, foam, and really anything small or sharp they might decide to swallow. It's like living with two very mobile babies who want to put everything in their mouth lol.

The information you gave was great because every time one them so much as clears their throat I'm wondering if they swallowed something so it's given me a much better idea of what to look out for. Thanks so much.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 4:48AM
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This is what happened with my dog. Tuesday morning got up and he was throwing up, and throwing up, went outside and he ate a lot of grass, then threw up some more and he just couldn't get into a comfortable position so I went straight to the vet where they did X-Rays and saw a round foreing object 'sitting' in his lower intestine. They put him on fluids the rest of the day and redid X-rays, hoping the thing could move to the larger intestine but it stayed there so he got surgery the next day.
He was at the vet hospital from Tuesday till Saturday afternoon. He's home, doing not too bad. Checking often to see if the incision is o.k. He's on special food 'gastro' for a little while and pills...He has not thrown up and his stools are fine. He had his last pain med last night but I have some more and will see if he needs it. He sleeps a lot and when he wakes up, I go outside for a little walk with him. I arranged for a temporary ramp for him (outdoor backsteps). He needs the e-collar, it must be sore and itchy and I can just imagine how uncomfortable and somewhat still painful and I was thinking how strong there are compared to us. How faster than us they recuperate. We only have a paper cut and it hurts and burns...imagine being opened so long.
Here he is with his best friend who missed him quite a lot while he was at the animal hospital:

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 11:18AM
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Hi anicee, what a terrible thing to go through for you and your boy. Dogs are so stoic when they get sick aren't they, it always amazes me and the poor baby has been through a lot. I'll bet he is so glad to be home again now sleeping in his own bed and surrounded by his family, and how gorgeous is that photo with his best buddy by his side? It's just adorable. I hope he makes a speedy recovery.

    Bookmark   June 4, 2012 at 11:44PM
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