Ask Dr. Tory: What’s the Craziest Thing You’ve Ever Seen a Dog Eat?
Dr. Tory Waxman
Did you know that dogs eating things they shouldn’t is one of the top reasons why dogs come to the hospital?
Have you ever heard the saying, kids say the darndest things? Well, dogs definitely eat the darndest things. “As a practicing veterinarian, it’s always unbelievable to me what dogs can manage to eat,” says Dr. Tory. In fact, dogs eating things they shouldn’t is one of the top reasons why dogs come to the hospital.
What’s the Craziest Thing You’ve Ever Seen a Dog Eat?
Dogs love to ingest fish hooks, spoons, nails, Airpods, pacifiers, engagement rings–the list doesn’t end there. I’m still always surprised when a dog manages to swallow a lightbulb in its entirety and not break the glass. Then there’s tennis balls, a Golden Retriever’s favorite.
But the craziest thing I’ve seen a dog ingest has to be from the time when I worked in NYC. I had a dog patient that had swallowed an entire rat from Central Park. If you’ve ever seen a NYC rat you know they can be similar in size to a small cat.
We induced vomiting and the dog luckily vomited up the rat in its entirety. It’s always great when you can make a dog vomit the foreign body in question up, because they come in sick and they throw up and then they’re oftentimes fixed! This particular case was both disgusting and amazing! Most likely the rat would have been digested–if it hadn’t been removed–but leaving it could have caused a major gastrointestinal upset. Not to mention that the rat may have died from ingesting rat poison, which we did not want the dog to be exposed to second-hand.
What’s the Most Dangerous Thing a Dog Can Eat?
One of the scariest foreign ingestions is a linear foreign body. This is when dogs (or cats) eat something like dental floss, shoestring, ribbon or tinsel. These items often don’t pass and will bunch up the intestines and will require surgery to remove it.
Many times these types of foreign bodies do not show up on the x-rays themselves. Radiologists look for gas and fluid patterns in the intestines that are concerning. Things like rags or underwear.
Foreign body ingestion is one of the most common reasons that dogs present to the emergency room.