Your dog has a dirty little secret: he (or she) is obsessed with your most intimate personal items. To them, your used tampons, sanitary pads, condoms, and dirty underwear are like forbidden candy. But this habit is more than just gross and creepy, it can be downright life-threatening.
If your dog ate a tampon or other personal care product, contact your veterinarian immediately!
What to Expect at the Vet When Your Dog Has Injested a Tampon
The treatment your dog receives will vary depending on his condition.
The first thing your vet will likely do is check your dog’s vitals and perform a basic examination. He or she will also ask you questions about your dog’s behavior and the timing of the ordeal.
Then, the vet will likely try to ascertain the location of the tampon (and anything else he may have eaten from the trashcan). This will usually begin with a quick peek inside your dog’s mouth – the tampon string may be stuck to your dog’s teeth, for example, which would make removal a bit simpler.
If the tampon isn’t visible in your pet’s mouth, your vet may use a tool called an endoscope (basically a long, flexible tube with a tiny camera at the end) to look down your dog’s throat. If this proves fruitless, your vet may order an X-ray to try to locate the tampon (technically, tampons don’t show up on X-rays, so your vet will actually look for trapped gas or food, which will indicate where the tampon is).
If your vet determines that the tampon was only eaten within the last hour or so and hasn’t passed very far along the digestive tract, he or she may administer an emetic – a drug that induces vomiting (don’t attempt to do this yourself without first consulting your vet).
If this works, your dog will likely barf up the tampon and recover fairly quickly. If however, the tampon has become stuck farther along the digestive tract, surgery may be required.
Dog Ate Tampon: How Long to Pass?
Bowel obstructions will typically cause vomiting, loss of appetite, pain, and diarrhea within 24 to 72 hours of eating the object. Dogs quickly become dehydrated and aren’t able to keep down food or water. Because tampons are so absorbent, they can dry out the gut wall when they’re stuck. This will cause damage to the gut wall. It can stretch very thin over the blockage, and even die or burst and spill its contents, leading to peritonitis – an infection that can easily become fatal.
My Dog Ate a Tampon, How Do I Induce Vomiting?
If the tampon was eaten within the last four hours, then your veterinarian may be able to give an injection to induce strong, reliable vomiting to remove the objects from the stomach. This will prevent them from going any further into the bowels where they may cause more severe problems.
There are circulating stories of inducing vomiting at home without the veterinary injection, such as feeding your dog hydrogen peroxide or salt and butter. These home remedies are not reliable, and these products can be extremely dangerous for your dog – the home remedy can sometimes make the dog sicker than the original problem! The veterinary injection is safe and reliable, so it is the best option and you can get the right professional veterinary advice at the same time. You should never induce vomiting at home unless your vet deems it’s worth the risk.