ASK DR.CLAIRE

Our 8 month old Labrador chewed his rope toy and swallowed a piece of it. He seems normal, should I be concerned?

A rope toy, or part of, does have the potential to be dangerous when eaten.

The size of your dog, and the size of the object eaten dictates whether the object will become lodged in their intestines, forming a blockage – or whether it will pass through (they can also be vomited up).

When something gets lodged in the gut, dogs get very sick and if left untreated it is sadly, life threatening. In general, symptoms to watch for which may indicate
an obstruction are:

  • Vomiting
  • Reduced or no appetite
  • Weakness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Weight loss

Waiting to monitor for signs on an obstruction is not a good plan, as by the time clinical signs are present, the object can already have caused significant damage to the surrounding intestine making for a more difficult and dangerous surgical extraction.

It’s best to head straight to your local bricks and mortar vet for a hands on assessment. Abdominal imaging (such as radiography and ultra-sound) is often used in these cases to assess for where the object is and whether it’s passing through. when dogs are sick, surgery is usually required.

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

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