Youve been playing fetch with your dogs favorite toy, but suddenly he doesnt come bounding back with it in his mouth. When you investigate, hes gnawing on it. Suddenly it disappears into from his mouth and down his throat. Depending on what kind of toy it is, this might be a medical emergency. No matter what, if your dog ate a toy, that requires a call to the vet to get advice or an appointment for X-rays, an ultrasound, or endoscopy to get an of where the toy is and what kind of hazard it presents.
Big dogs and small toys dont work well together because tiny toys can slip beyond your dogs teeth and lodge in her throat, possibly impeding breathing. If your dog ate a toy appears to be choking on it a toy, first gently feel around in her mouth to see if you can easily pull it out. Do not try to reach down the throat because you may push it farther down, possibly making a bad situation worse.
You can try to give your dog the Heimlich maneuver. If you have a small dog, make sure he is on his back. Using your palm, push in and forward in the area just below the rib cage. For larger dogs, the maneuver can be done if hes standing or lying on his side. If hes standing, wrap your arms around belly from above.
With your fist, push up and forward. For a dog lying on his side, squeeze his abdomen upwards with one hand while the other is placed on his back. After doing the Heimlich, check his mouth to see if the toy has popped up from his throat. If you are unable to dislodge it, this requires an emergency trip to the vet.
Another peril is if your dog swallowed a stuffed animal or ate a soft toy that is made of rope or string. You may see part of the string, but the rest has gone down his throat. Resist the urge to pull on the string to try to pull up the rest of the toy. This could injure her throat or esophagus, and possibly internal organs depending how far down the string has descended.
Some toys that are small or that have been chewed up can end up in your dogs digestive system. Do not give your dog anything to induce vomiting, as the toy could get stuck on its way back out. If your dog swallowed a stuffed animal or other toy, it could obstruct digestion, possibly not allowing food to pass from the stomach or through the intestines. In this case, surgery may be required.
If he chewed up a plastic toy, shards of it could perforate the intestines. This could lead to an infection of the lining of the abdomen called peritonitis, a potentially fatal condition.
Its important to be present while your dog is playing with her toys so you can make sure shes not chewing it into pieces or has the whole thing in her mouth. Buy toys that are too large to fit completely in her mouth, and keep an eye on them to ensure pieces havent been chewed off.
Before allowing your dog to enjoy a new toy, take off any pieces like strings or eyes that she could loosen while chewing. Dogs may particularly like attacking and destroying a squeaker in a toy, and if this piece becomes loose, it could pose a choking or swallowing hazard.
Always check with your veterinarian before changing your petâs diet, medication, or physical activity routines. This information is not a substitute for a vetâs opinion.
As soon as you see your dog eating stuffed toy you need to act. Vets say you have around 2 hours before the toy or foreign object gets to their intestines, so this time is critical.
There is a two-hour window
In the midnight call to the vet, I learned you have a two-hour window in which to have the dog examined and to hopefully safely extract the foreign object that he swallowed before the item makes its way into his intestines. This is critical, and can potentially make the difference between swift removal of the object or surgery.
When your dog swallows something she should not, do not wait around deciding whether to go to the vet. If you do not know what she swallowed, go immediately to the vet and have an X-ray taken. If you do know what she ingested, determine if it has something hard or sharp in it that might get stuck somewhere in your dog’s GI system. Think about the size of the object. Will the unwanted item make it through the intestines?
If your dog has swallowed a foreign object and it is not sharp or metal, most likely vomiting can be induced in the critical two-hour window before the item reaches the intestines. It is advisable to coat your dog’s stomach with food. In my case, I had just fed my dog cottage cheese, which turned out to be the perfect conductor for coating the esophagus and stomach. If the object is sharp, you do not want to induce vomiting because the item could tear your dog’s esophagus. For this reason, it is important to do the X-rays to determine if the object can make its way back up the esophagus.
Plus what to do when you hear that telltale “riiiiiip” sound ♀️
Your dog is playing around with her favorite plush toy when all of a sudden you hear, “Riiiiiiiiiiip.”
Next thing you know, she’s throwing the stuffing around like that’s the toy. But what happens if she accidentally swallows some in all the excitement of tearing the toy apart?
The Dodo spoke with Dr. Clarissa B. Lyon, a veterinarian at Larklain Mobile Veterinary Services in Pennsylvania, to find out when you should actually panic.
Find Out What Your Dog Ate
Examine any chewed-up toys your dog has pulled stuffing from.
Looking over the toy can help determine how much stuffing you think your dog may have eaten and the texture and type of stuffing.
Knowing the amount and general type of stuffing your dog has eaten can help you determine the seriousness of the situation.
This information is also useful if you call or visit your veterinarian.
If you walk in on your dog actively eating stuffing, it is worth it to remove stuffing pieces from their mouth.
If your dog has stuffing in or near its throat (far back in its mouth), do not try to remove it, as you may accidentally end up pushing it further down.
What happens if your dog eats a stuffed toy?
How long does it take a dog to pass a stuffed toy?