We are looking after a friends Pomeranian and last night he ate a used tampon (only one), seems fine at the moment, should I take him to a vet or wait and see? they are closed at the moment

Any foreign object has the potential to be dangerous when eaten. Obviously it depends on the size of the object eaten in comparison to your dog. While some objects go straight in one end and out the other, there’s also a chance of them getting stuck in the intestines and forming a blockage along the way.

This is called an obstruction of the gut and is really serious (can be life-threatening) if left untreated.

Unfortunately tampons are a common cause of obstruction of the intestines, especially for a small breed dog like a Pomeranian cross. Tampons are able to absorb a large amount of fluid and tend to greatly increase in size as they sit in the gut. They become lodged and unable to move through and exit the intestinal tract.

Common symptoms of an obstruction include:

  • Vomiting,
  • Reduced or no appetite,
  • Weakness,
  • Diarrhoea, and
  • Weight loss.

Please head straight to your local vet for a hands-on assessment, as there is a high chance that it will cause an obstruction (even though everything seems normal at the moment). Abdominal imaging (such as radiography and ultrasound) is often used to help assess where the object is and whether it’s passing through. This will help us reach the best treatment plan.

Waiting for signs on an obstruction is not a good plan in this case, as the tampon can have already caused significant damage to the surrounding intestine by the time you see these signs, which makes for a more difficult and dangerous extraction.

If you’d like to chat in person, you can get a vet on a live video call or start a chat to discuss in more detail now.

We’re here to help!

Chat soon,

Dr Claire