As we have discussed in this column in the past, boredom is one of the most common factors in dogs getting themselves into trouble. This often presents itself by destructive behavior which can be costly due to damaged items or property and can pose health threats to the dogs themselves. Now that winter seems to have truly descended on us, we tend to be less active and our dogs suffer this inactivity right along with us.
Cold, wet weather and early darkness make daily walking routines difficult to accomplish, it’s hard to even spend time in the yard with our canine companions with the snow, ice and subsequent muddy conditions we’ve been experiencing.
Dogs commonly try to relieve their boredom by chewing anything from their own paws to the plaster on your walls. One of the biggest concerns is what they ingest during all this chewing.
One of the reasons I bring this up now is because of the new and unfamiliar toys and chews that your pup may have acquired during the holidays. If you follow this column, you may remember that we talked about choosing safe toys and chews for gifts for your favorite pups, now let’s educate ourselves a little about the signs and symptoms your dog may exhibit if he does ingest something he can’t pass.
You may not even know that your dog has swallowed something he shouldn’t, but if by chance you realize it right away, you may be able to induce vomiting in order to keep the obstruction from occurring.
The first thing to do is to call your veterinarian for advice and instructions. Given the current severe shortage of veterinarians and the difficulty in getting into emergency clinics, you may have to resort to a home remedy.
Unfortunately, we often don’t realize our dogs have ingested something harmful until they exhibit symptoms.
Best case scenario: They vomit it up immediately.
Second best scenario: You never knew the item was missing until you find it (again, in its entirety) when you’re poop scooping the yard.
Cats are also susceptible to obstructions, but they are normally more finicky about what they put in their mouths and actually swallow. The symptoms are the same as those in dogs.
If untreated, obstructions are fatal.
Complete blockages typically cause death within three to four days, partial blockages may take longer but will still have the same devastating effect. The bottom line is to be vigilant with new pets and new toys or chews and take any of the symptoms mentioned seriously.
Shelter needs: Canned cat and dog food, soft dog treats, liquid hand soap, paper towels, and gift cards for pet supply and grocery outlets.