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Top 10 Crazy Things Pets Swallow That Can Get Stuck

17 Jun, 2024
Dogs | Cats

Pets have a knack for getting into things they shouldn’t, and sometimes they swallow the most unexpected items! From household objects to garden finds, here’s a list of the top 10 weird things that dogs and cats eat. If your pet has eaten any of these items, please contact your vet immediately.

1. Fish Hooks (Dogs) & Sewing Needles (Cats)

These sharp items can cause serious internal damage. Fish hooks are often ingested when dogs go on fishing trips with their owners, attracted by the bait. Sewing needles are a curious cat's nightmare, often swallowed during playful moments.

2. Toys

From tennis balls to tiny figurines, toys can easily get stuck in your pet’s digestive tract. While larger toys might cause immediate choking, smaller parts can pass into the intestines and create blockages over time.

3. Socks & Undies

Pets love the scent of their owners, but these items can cause blockages. Dogs, in particular, might raid laundry baskets and chew on socks or underwear, which can lead to serious intestinal issues if swallowed whole.

4. Corn Cobs

A common BBQ leftover, corn cobs can be a choking hazard and cause obstructions. Dogs often find these irresistible due to the leftover food, but their size and shape make them difficult to pass.

5. Fruit Pits and Seeds

While some fruits are safe, their pits and seeds can be dangerous. For example, peach pits and apple seeds contain toxins that are harmful to pets, and their size can lead to choking or blockages.

6. String (Cats)

Cats are notorious for playing with and swallowing string, which can lead to serious issues. String can cause what's known as a linear foreign body obstruction, where the intestines bunch up around the string.

7. Skewers

Often not visible on X-rays, skewers pose a puncture risk. Dogs might grab these from BBQs or trash, and if swallowed whole, they can puncture the intestines or other organs, creating life-threatening conditions.

8. Batteries

Highly visible on X-rays, batteries are dangerous if they leak. The chemicals inside batteries can cause severe burns to the digestive tract, and ingestion requires immediate veterinary attention.

9. Hair-ties, Rubber Bands, and Scrunchies

Common in homes, these can cause intestinal blockages. Cats and dogs might chew on these out of curiosity or play, leading to blockages if multiple items are swallowed or if they are swallowed whole.

10. Airpods/Earbuds

Surprisingly, dogs & cats can be attracted to these small, shiny objects. Swallowing Airpods or earbuds can lead to blockages and potentially require surgical removal, as their components can be harmful to pets' digestive systems.

The gut is a resilient organ, but ingesting foreign objects is always a roll of the dice. Sometimes items pass on their own, but many require medical intervention. If your pet has eaten any of these items, please contact your vet immediately.

Come visit Dr Olga Lynn at The Pet Show, Brisbane (22 + 23 June 2024) for more tips and her comprehensive online Pet First Aid Course. Being prepared could save your pet's life!

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