Things Dogs Eat

If you've got a pet, you know they can be mischievous!  And sometimes their curiosity gets them in trouble, especially when it comes to what they eat.  Jocelyn Lockwood shows you what to watch out for in this edition of the NOLA Pet Doctors.

Pet owners know they'll get into anything! While it can sometimes be amusing, or even frustrating, it can also be dangerous.

"Parker has a bad habit of getting on the counter and taking whatever food she wants that's left up there," Dr. Rose Lemarie tells WGNO News. "This time she happened to nab a corn cob. She's going to have surgery to have it removed."

It's not the strangest thing Dr. Lemaire has taken out of a pet: "One of the more common things we see is Gorilla glue. Apparently it's very tasty because a lot of dogs eat it, and it will actually make a mold of the stomach on the inside."

Depending on what and where the "foreign body" is, the surgery can be simple or quite complicated.

"Tube socks and panty hose, those are a delicacy," says Dr. Lemarie. "There are dogs that eat sticks and rocks. Underwear, we take out a lot of underwear, toys."

Speaking from experience, Parker's surgery isn't the first for owner Calli East, who just happens to work in the Veterinary ICU. Her other dog, Trey is quite the eater, too: "Trey also likes to chew on toys and those loofa dogs, those long little stuffed animals with the big smiles. He particularly likes those and he's a pit bull so he's a larger dog so he was able to swallow it whole."

Toys do pose a serious threat, just think:

Plastic squeakers ("The tougher the better and a size appropriate for your dog," says Calli. "Don't buy your golden retriever a tiny little toy they can easily swallow."), strings from rope and yarn ("What happens if they end up swallowing one of the string, then you can have what's called a linear foreign body," explains Dr. Lemarie. "It will end up going into their small intestines but it can wrap it up and basically strangulate their small intestines."), and stuffing ("If they pull out enough it can essentially form this mass of stuffing in the stomach and basically do what this corn cob is doing.").

As for Parker, the corn cob did move through her system, so there was little for Dr. Lemarie to do: "Once it's in the colon, it will pass, but it's there. I mean I can see it. So I think our job here is done!>"

If you're worried your mischievous pet has something stuck, look for vomiting, lethargy, straining to go the bathroom or diarrhea.

"So the biggest thing is just awareness of your pet, and keeping a close eye on them," Calli says. "Because accidents happen. You know, it even happens to veterinary professionals!"