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Dogs Will Eat Anything and It's No Laughing Matter

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June 08, 2011

Dogs Will Eat Anything and It's No Laughing Matter

By Chad Love

This is a seven-inch Zoom Mag Super Fluke. It's one of my all-time favorite lures and it's a fantastic bait to throw to spring bass. It is also, apparently, irresistible to English setters, because this particular fluke made it about halfway down my dog's throat before I could grab it (just) by the tail end and pull it out. My children had apparently been "fishing" with the fluke it in our backyard water garden, left it sitting and when I went out to work the dog she found it and immediately scarfed it down.

It reinforces the point that dogs will eat anything. Literally, anything. Socks, balls, children's toys, dead birds, pieces of rope, there is no rhyme or reason to what a dog will try to swallow. I know everyone has a tale of some outlandish item their dog swallowed and then either brought it back up or sent it out the other end, and a lot of said tales tend to be of the humorous, head-shaking "dogs-will-be-dogs" variety, but it's no joke, and no laughing matter.

Each year thousands of dogs die of bloat (which basically, is a condition of excessive intestinal gas) brought on by gastric torsion (twisting of the stomach) or intestinal obstructions.

I know, because last year it happened to me. I lost my young and much-beloved male chessie after he swallowed a plastic children's toy when I wasn't looking. Bloat came on in the night, when I didn't notice, and the next morning he was dead. It was devastating, to say the least.

Bloat is one of the leading causes of death among dogs (Here's a very concise article on bloat/gastric torsion on the gundogsonline website. And while bloat associated with feeding and activity is the primary focus of most studies (and another blog topic in the near future) bloat caused by obstructions is just as deadly, especially this time of year when the kids are home for summer and back yards tend to be scattered with toys, balls and other things tempting to dogs.

So please, use the consequences of my carelessness as a cautionary tale: make sure you keep easily-swallowed items out of the reach of your dogs, and if they do swallow something, call your vet immediately and ask their advice.

In all likelihood, chewing up and swallowing that fluke would have resulted in nothing more than an easily-passed, pearl-white stool. But after losing one dog, I don’t take chances any more. Neither should you.

Comments (12)

Top Rated
All Comments
from Michael Jager wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

My weimeraner, Buc has never been one to eat foreign objects or chew on anything other than his own toys and bones, but there was one exception and it almost led to his passing. He vomited a few time and I thought nothing of it, as time went on he was not eating and that led to him not drinking water either. When he wouldnt take water I knew something was up so I called the vet. They had me bring him in immediatly and within an hour he was in surgery to remove an obstruction in his small intestine. They got it out and he spent the weekend at the vet. He has since recovered and is doing great. Even though I still have the object they removed and I cant tell what it is. This only further shows the need to watch what is laying around because even a dog who doesn't eat anything and everything can find something that may temp them. Thanks for posting this article.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

I have smaller dogs, and we have been very careful about not only anything on the floor or in the yard, but anything on a counter or table that a cat will bat around, like a ballpoint pen. In that case, I recovered all the parts, and only had to worry about getting ink out of the carpet. But it could have been much worse.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Moose1980 wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

Our first lab ate the head off of a double bladed disposable razor. Called the vet and believe it or not he said to just keep an eye on him for strange behavior and to check his "leavings" to see if he passed it. We feared he'd get cut up inside, but sure enough, he passed it without a problem, no worse for wear!

That dog had a vindictive side, if you "wronged" him, he'd get you back. For instance, he broke his tail around 2 yrs old. It was the end of summer and us kids were home to baby him. After 2-3 weeks we went back to school which left him home with mom. She promptly put him on the lead outside so he could enjoy some fresh air. He proceeded to eat a 5 ft section of cedar shingles off the house. Mom was not happy!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from pete5645 wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

My parent's boxer came across a golf ball in the back yard (neighbor kids hit it over the fence and left it) and she chewed up and ate the whole thing. After a day of not eating or drinking, they took her into the vet and had immediate surgery to remove the 3+ feet of rubbery/stringy golf ball guts from her intestine. She recovered just great, but it is a constant concern for me with my own dog now. We make sure that our GSP has plenty of Nylabones and rawhides around to keep her busy.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

I have NO stories to that effect. Except one. Pearl tackled a wooly caterpillar in the driveway when she was just a little stinker. Didn't stop barfing for twenty minutes. But puppy phase really doesn't count.

If I happen to eat my dinner sitting on the counch watching TV and forget to pick dishes up off the floor, they'll still be untouched in the morning even though the dogs are sleeping in the room. And that's no bull! Every lab I have had has been trained the same way. I think it has a lot to do with raising them in the house. If the dog's nose goes wandering even slightly up towards the kitchen counter they get a stern reprimand instantly. "Watch your nose!" Ooops, okay, okay, I'm outa here. And, of course, picking high quality dogs makes a big difference. Yep, go ahead and do the pound rescue thing if you want, but be prepared for the worst. And by "worst" I mean untrainable garbage disposals.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from bass bomber wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

My German shorthair pointer recently swallowed a catfish head I had sitting in a bowl of water. I was just sitting outside when my sister noticed her chewing on something and after I finally got it out I noticed it was the catfish head I brought home the day before.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Thomas1234 wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

My neighbors chocolate lab ate/drank a pan full of grease that was sitting up on a bench, not sure how she got up there but thankfully she ended up being alright

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

i've seen dogs eat frogs and that is not a good thing. a guy i work with has a very sick dog right now and they think it was something he ate while outside. don't take chances.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dogwood wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

Pete5645,
Rawhide chew toys can be the worst offenders causing blockage,especially the ones shaped like big bones. It's indigestible and I have been cautioned by my vet about letting my dogs have them. Once the bone is chewed soft and unravelled, some dogs swallow them whole and pay the consequences. Sometimes the only way out is surgery. My dogs like to chew on antler shed bases. Cut off the tines and it'll keep the pooch busy.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dogwood wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

http://www.k911.biz/Petsafety/RawhideandChewyTreats.htm

At the risk of offending the rawhide chew toy industry, read above.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from smallgamehunter25 wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

The worst thing I can remember my black lab/whippet mix getting into was tinsel and pine needles off the Christmas tree, (later found in a pretty massive pile of vomit) that and a catbox exploration that my mother told me about. Didn't let her lick my face for a week.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nosmiley wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

A guy I worked with had a bull dog that ate an entire panty hose. He found out about at the other end of the dog. He had to "help" get it out. Of course it came out starting with one foot, (you can imagine something 5 or 6 feet long)
Probably already told you more than you wanted to know.

0 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

from Michael Jager wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

My weimeraner, Buc has never been one to eat foreign objects or chew on anything other than his own toys and bones, but there was one exception and it almost led to his passing. He vomited a few time and I thought nothing of it, as time went on he was not eating and that led to him not drinking water either. When he wouldnt take water I knew something was up so I called the vet. They had me bring him in immediatly and within an hour he was in surgery to remove an obstruction in his small intestine. They got it out and he spent the weekend at the vet. He has since recovered and is doing great. Even though I still have the object they removed and I cant tell what it is. This only further shows the need to watch what is laying around because even a dog who doesn't eat anything and everything can find something that may temp them. Thanks for posting this article.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Ontario Honker ... wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

I have NO stories to that effect. Except one. Pearl tackled a wooly caterpillar in the driveway when she was just a little stinker. Didn't stop barfing for twenty minutes. But puppy phase really doesn't count.

If I happen to eat my dinner sitting on the counch watching TV and forget to pick dishes up off the floor, they'll still be untouched in the morning even though the dogs are sleeping in the room. And that's no bull! Every lab I have had has been trained the same way. I think it has a lot to do with raising them in the house. If the dog's nose goes wandering even slightly up towards the kitchen counter they get a stern reprimand instantly. "Watch your nose!" Ooops, okay, okay, I'm outa here. And, of course, picking high quality dogs makes a big difference. Yep, go ahead and do the pound rescue thing if you want, but be prepared for the worst. And by "worst" I mean untrainable garbage disposals.

+1 Good Comment? | | Report
from Jeff Bowers wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

I have smaller dogs, and we have been very careful about not only anything on the floor or in the yard, but anything on a counter or table that a cat will bat around, like a ballpoint pen. In that case, I recovered all the parts, and only had to worry about getting ink out of the carpet. But it could have been much worse.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Moose1980 wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

Our first lab ate the head off of a double bladed disposable razor. Called the vet and believe it or not he said to just keep an eye on him for strange behavior and to check his "leavings" to see if he passed it. We feared he'd get cut up inside, but sure enough, he passed it without a problem, no worse for wear!

That dog had a vindictive side, if you "wronged" him, he'd get you back. For instance, he broke his tail around 2 yrs old. It was the end of summer and us kids were home to baby him. After 2-3 weeks we went back to school which left him home with mom. She promptly put him on the lead outside so he could enjoy some fresh air. He proceeded to eat a 5 ft section of cedar shingles off the house. Mom was not happy!

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from pete5645 wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

My parent's boxer came across a golf ball in the back yard (neighbor kids hit it over the fence and left it) and she chewed up and ate the whole thing. After a day of not eating or drinking, they took her into the vet and had immediate surgery to remove the 3+ feet of rubbery/stringy golf ball guts from her intestine. She recovered just great, but it is a constant concern for me with my own dog now. We make sure that our GSP has plenty of Nylabones and rawhides around to keep her busy.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from bass bomber wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

My German shorthair pointer recently swallowed a catfish head I had sitting in a bowl of water. I was just sitting outside when my sister noticed her chewing on something and after I finally got it out I noticed it was the catfish head I brought home the day before.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from Thomas1234 wrote 2 years 45 weeks ago

My neighbors chocolate lab ate/drank a pan full of grease that was sitting up on a bench, not sure how she got up there but thankfully she ended up being alright

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from jamesti wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

i've seen dogs eat frogs and that is not a good thing. a guy i work with has a very sick dog right now and they think it was something he ate while outside. don't take chances.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from smallgamehunter25 wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

The worst thing I can remember my black lab/whippet mix getting into was tinsel and pine needles off the Christmas tree, (later found in a pretty massive pile of vomit) that and a catbox exploration that my mother told me about. Didn't let her lick my face for a week.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from nosmiley wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

A guy I worked with had a bull dog that ate an entire panty hose. He found out about at the other end of the dog. He had to "help" get it out. Of course it came out starting with one foot, (you can imagine something 5 or 6 feet long)
Probably already told you more than you wanted to know.

0 Good Comment? | | Report
from dogwood wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

Pete5645,
Rawhide chew toys can be the worst offenders causing blockage,especially the ones shaped like big bones. It's indigestible and I have been cautioned by my vet about letting my dogs have them. Once the bone is chewed soft and unravelled, some dogs swallow them whole and pay the consequences. Sometimes the only way out is surgery. My dogs like to chew on antler shed bases. Cut off the tines and it'll keep the pooch busy.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report
from dogwood wrote 2 years 44 weeks ago

http://www.k911.biz/Petsafety/RawhideandChewyTreats.htm

At the risk of offending the rawhide chew toy industry, read above.

-1 Good Comment? | | Report

Post a Comment

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