10 February 2016

My Dog Or Cat Swallowed A Needle, What To Do?

It is not just needles that dogs swallow, I have known dogs to ingest all sorts of sharp objects such as pieces of broken glass, fragments of sharp plastic and other plastic objects and even parts of disposal razors and other blades. Surprisingly in my experience many dogs will get away with this sort of incident, but there are dangers of course.

dog swallowed sharp object
I have known dogs and to a lesser extent cats swallow all sorts of sharp objects

But what to do if your dog has swallowed such a sharp object? Well here is some advice based on my previous experience of a great many such cases ...

1. Do not try to induce vomiting to recover what was swallowed as sharp objects can cause problems in the throat tissue on the way back up. This could do more harm than good.

2. What can often help is to feed your dog quite a few slices of bread or some mashed potato as soon as possible. This is done in the hope that it will form round and cushion any sharp object which has been swallowed and so help protect your dog's intestinal tract as the object passes along.

3. I know this is not a nice job but you should examine your dog's faeces over the next few days to make sure the sharp object whatever it is has passed.

4. I am always surprised how many dogs get away with swallowing sharp objects, certainly a higher percentage of dogs come through this that have any adverse effects. However you should be aware that there is always a possibility for some form of problem to occur. So you should monitor these dogs carefully for symptoms such as vomiting, lethargy, anorexia, abdominal pain or straining and of course if any such occur then you must contact your vet at once. The danger of course is that sharp objects can penetrate or damage the intestinal tract which would be a very serious situation which will often require surgery to correct.

2. Cats are very much less prone to swallowing sharp objects than dogs, but it may happen when they have been playing with a needle with the thread attached. The same information which I have listed above applies to cats just the same as in dogs except it is going to be very hard to get a cat to swallow any quantity of bread or mashed potato. So with cats watchful waiting may be the way to go.