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The Weirdest things we have seen dogs eat in the SASH Emergency department

Published on November 25, 2019.
Last Updated November 24, 2021.
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The Weirdest things we have seen dogs eat in the SASH Emergency department

Read on to find out what they are!

Many dog owners can tell you that their dog’s idea of gourmet delights doesn’t exactly line up with their own. Dogs can have a strange taste for inanimate objects, which sometimes can get them into a lot of trouble. From soil and poo, to squeaky toys and kitchen implements, dogs are not often fussy about their choice of non-edible delight! But every non-food item ingested comes with risks, as even though your dog might like eating it, these sorts of items can have serious health consequences.

When your dog eats bizarre non-food objects, it is known as ‘pica’. He may do this because of nutritional imbalances, curiosity, boredom, habit or hunger, so getting to the bottom of why can take a bit of investigatory work.

Today we’re going to look at some of the cases which have been seen at the SASH Emergency department, and learn a bit more about what to do if your dog has eaten something odd.

We caught up with Dr Connor Hershkowitz the other day to discuss the weirdest things he has seen dogs eat in his time in the SASH Emergency department.

Let’s jump straight in!

Dr Connor Hershkowitz’s 10 WEIRDEST things he has seen dogs eat in the SASH Emergency department:

1. 13 toy squeakers from an 8kg dog
2. A toilet plunger
3. A knife set
4. An entire blanket
5. Diamond earrings
6. Drinking motor oil
7. An umbrella
8. Bouquet of flowers
9. Full monopoly set
10. An oil painted portrait… of the dog herself

How concerned should I be if my dog eats something odd?

Toxic foods can be fatal and other obstructive items can cause serious blockages within a short amount of time, so it is imperative you act quickly. You should never assume that anything other than dog food is safe for your dog. Even certain human food items can have serious consequences.

The level of risk will vary depending how much of the item your dog ate, and in the case of obstructive items, how well it was chewed up. You should never take a ‘wait and see’ approach without veterinary advice. Early intervention will allow the vets at SASH to analyse the situation, determine how serious it is for your dog, and if appropriate, administer swift medical care. This might include decontaminating your dog’s stomach or administering medications to reduce toxin absorption. This swift action could be the difference between life and death for your dog.

What are the signs that my dog could have eaten something odd?

Beyond evidence left around the home, signs your dog ate something it should not have might include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Retching
  • A firm, distended, or painful abdomen
  • Marked changes in their normal mental state
  • Seizures
  • Collapse
  • Lethargy
  • Drooling
  • An increased breathing rate
  • Lack of stools

Symptoms can come on quickly and severely in a matter of hours, in the case of toxins. Whereas, in the case of intestinal blockages, they may not be apparent for many days and come on slowly and progressively.

If your dog is seeming unwell, even if it doesn’t seem particularly severe, it is important to take him to be examined earlier rather than later. Obstructive items, in particular, need to be.  picked upon on early because the peristaltic (squeezing) motion of the intestines causes pressure to gradually build up around the obstruction. When this happens, the intestinal wall’s blood supply becomes compromised and eventually starts to become devitalised. This leads to weakening and potentially rupture, which enables the bacteria in the gut to enter the abdomen. As a result, septic peritonitis can develop, which can cause shock and fatalities.

What should I do if I think my dog has eaten something odd?

If your dog eats any of these odd items or anything else you are concerned with, immediately get your dog to your local vet or our 24/7 Emergency & Critical Care department at SASH.

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About the Author

Bec Moss

Veterinarian
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