Problems Caused by a Swallowed Sock
Socks may seem relatively benign, but they can actually wreak considerable havoc while traveling through your dog’s digestive tract. They’ll occasionally pass through a dog’s digestive system without much trouble, but it is always a situation to take seriously.
Socks – like most other fabrics or garments – will absorb moisture while in your dog’s body. This can cause the sock to swell up and become stuck.
This type of obstruction can prevent the normal passage of food and water through your pet’s system, resulting in symptoms like nausea, vomiting, anorexia, and diarrhea, among others.
If the sock isn’t removed quickly, it can press against the sides of the intestines, cutting off the flow of blood. This can cause the intestinal tissue to die, a potentially life-threatening condition which can necessitate expensive and invasive surgery to repair.
Socks can also scrape the inside surfaces of your dog’s intestines, which can lead to ulcers or perforations. This is particularly likely when the threads of the sock unravel. As the threads stretch out, they can be repeatedly pulled in opposite directions by the involuntary contractions of the intestinal tract. This type of repeated back-and-forth motion may rip your dog’s insides to shreds.
Choking is also a serious concern. A wet, swollen sock can block your dog’s windpipe, which will make it difficult for your dog to breathe and likely trigger quite a bit of panic.
What if you’re not sure if your dog ate a sock?
Not sure if your dog ate a sock, or swallowed something else? Because some types of items are difficult to see on an x-ray, and because dogs sometimes swallow things without their owners realizing it, your veterinarian might elect to take a look at the stomach with an endoscope. “Sometimes, I go down there with a scope because I think they have bowel disease or chronic inflammation, and I say, ‘Oh! Look, there’s a ball down here!’” Dr. Diehl says.
One outcome you really hope to avoid is an intestinal obstruction, where the sock lodges somewhere in the intestines, causing a blockage. An obstruction is serious and it requires surgery to remove the item. The tricky thing about intestinal obstructions is you might not realize your dog has one if you didn’t actually witness him swallowing a sock or something he shouldn’t.
How long can a sock stay in a dogs stomach?
The amount of time it takes for things to go through a dog’s digestive system is typically 10-24 hours to move through the entire digestive tract. Some objects, however, can take a much longer time depending on the size of the object, which can prove too large to progress through the digestive tract.
The issue with animals eating fabric is that textiles are not able to be broken down and passed through the digestive system like a stick. Depending on the size of your dog and the size of the sock, they may be able to vomit it back up or eventually pass it through their excretions.
Dog Eats a Sock: Obstruction Signs and 3 Remedies
If the dog is big and the item is small like a sock, the dog might simply vomit it back up — either right away or a day or two later. If that doesn’t happen, it’s possible that the dog might pass the sock and eventually poop it out. … In some cases, if your dog ate a sock, the item might even become stuck in the stomach.