What to Do If Your Dog Swallowed a Foreign Object

If your dog swallowed a foreign object, one of two things may happen: it may naturally through the stomach and intestines without issue, or it may get lodged in the stomach or intestines with grave consequence. Some foreign objects can also be dangerous for the soft tissues in the throat and stomach or can get stuck in your dog’s throat.

Symptom Checker

  • Salivating more than usual or foaming at the mouth.
  • Purposefully pawing at the mouth.
  • Abrupt vomiting, possibly bloody.
  • Abrupt diarrhea, possibly bloody.
  • Recurrent vomiting and diarrhea.
  • Sudden onset of fever.
  • Not drinking or eating.
  • Unable to hold down substances including water.
  • Pain in the abdomen and distension.

What to Do

If you know or believe that your dog swallowed a foreign object, check his mouth and throat to see if the object is lodged or can be removed. If you actually see the object but are unable to remove it, ensure that your dog is breathing well.

Dog Swallowed a Foreign Object

Keep your dog as calm as you can, call the veterinarian or the emergency clinic, and ask for guidance. If your dog cannot breathe, perform the canine Heimlich maneuver.

Do not attempt to trigger vomiting or force water or oil into your dog without explicit direction from a veterinarian. These techniques can cause life-threatening damage to your dog’s throat, stomach, and intestinal tissue if not used correctly.

What Will the Veterinarian Do?

Your veterinarian will guide you on how to induce vomiting if they feel it is the right course of action. Otherwise, you can bring your dog to a clinic and have medical professionals induce vomiting there.

If the veterinarian recommends vomiting, they will likely want to take an ultrasound or X-ray of your dog’s abdomen to locate the foreign object. Dogs in this situation are closely monitored, and multiple X-rays are taken to see if and how the object is moving through the intestines. If this procedure works, the object will pass through without issue.

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If the veterinarian sees that the foreign object is not passing through the intestines, they will perform surgery as soon as possible. It is safest to remove the object directly from the stomach, as intestinal surgery can cause greater complications for your dog. The best process for your dog will be determined by your veterinarian, who will suggest all possible options.