Have you ever found your dog eating something he shouldn’t? Chances are, you probably have. Fido has both a healthy appetite and a healthy sense of curiosity. These things are a dangerous mix! Our canine companions often investigate things by eating them. That puts them at high risk of obstructions, which are both painful and dangerous. A local Cherry Hill, NJ vet discusses this issue in this article.
The term bowel obstruction is fairly self-explanatory: it refers to a total or partial blockage of a pup’s gastrointestinal tract. Man’s Best Friend has eaten all sorts of non-food items, such as rocks, bones, keys, nails, screws, socks, and even phones, which he cannot properly digest. However, not all blockages are caused by Fido’s snack habits. Blockages can also be caused by medical issues, such as tumors, hernias, and parasites.
Blockages can be very painful, but the true danger goes far beyond discomfort. They can disrupt blood flow, interfere with Fido’s ability to digest food and water, and can cause intestinal perforations. Anything that is ropy or stringlike can also cause the bowels to bunch up, which is extremely dangerous.
Keep an eye out for warning signs. Vomiting is one of the most common ones. Other red flags include weakness, diarrhea, and reduced appetite. Fido may also be dehydrated, and he may look bloated. You may also notice some behavioral clues, such as lethargy, restlessness, withdrawal, or unusual vocalizations. Contact your vet immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.
Any pup can develop a blockage, but some are more prone to it than others. Puppies are particularly high risk, in part because they want to taste and chew, well, everything. However, pooches that are bored, lonely, or not getting enough exercise or playtime can also be prone to obstructions.
As with all other pet-care related issues, an ounce of prevention is worth several tons of cure here. The best way to prevent blockages is by making sure that anything inappropriate is kept out of paws’ reach. Use garbage cans and laundry baskets with lids, and keep unsafe items stored away. Offer Fido lots of suitable chew toys, and make sure he’s getting enough exercise and playtime. You may also want to teach him the ‘Leave It’ command.
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