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When the dog eats the wrong object

Many dogs are prone to eat objects not intended for their consumption, be it chewing the furniture when they are puppies and in many cases even when they are grown up.

However, the danger is when your dog eats very inappropriate objects which could cause them considerable harm.

My ‘goldie’ has always been quick to put objects in his mouth, whether it is food dropped by people from takeaways, sweet wrappers or worse. Litter is a problem even when the public drop tissues and wet wipes the latter of course look like tissues but will not biodegrade like tissue.

However, I have had three occasions when he has eaten something more serious and has required veterinary treatment.

Walking across playing fields with my dog off the lead I saw he got a hair ribbon but by the time I reached him he had swallowed it. Fortunately we were not far from the Vet’s surgery and I drove straight there. After examination, they decided to give him an injection to make him sick and to my great relief they retrieved the ribbon.

For a dog the size of a golden retriever there is a window of about one hour from the time they swallow the object to the Vet being able to administer the necessary injection with a reasonable expectation of a successful outcome. Failing that it would mean surgery and intestinal surgery is not only expensive it can be very dangerous.

The last experience I had with this was a day I was due to go into London. I was catching an early train and let my ‘goldie’ in the garden for a toilet break before leaving. Fortunately I was watching him from the house and noticed him holding something in his paws; by the time I got down to the garden he swallowed it. Looking at the grass a few feet behind my dog I saw a black sock on the ground so I concluded what he ate must have been a sock. There is a public footpath behind the fence of our garden so the likelihood was that school children had raided a friend’s sports bag and tossed the socks over the fence.

I phoned the Vet and we got there as quickly as possible, he again had to have an injection. I came back home and cancelled my train, dog walker, appointment and everything. Then with relief I received the call from the Vet to tell me they had retrieved the sock. After a couple of hours I was able to collect him and monitored a very quiet dog for the rest of the day.

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Written by Maureen Wingham

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