New Mexico's Pet Resource SUMMER 2008


We all know cats are curious and dogs like to chew on things. Sometimes these habits can get an animal in trouble.

Adjusters for VPI Pet Insurance put together a list of objects most commonly swallowed by animals. These objects often had to be surgically removed.

  1. Socks
  2. Underwear
  3. Panty hose
  4. Rocks
  5. Balls
  6. Chew toys
  7. Corn cobs
  8. Bones
  9. Hair ties/ribbons
  10. Sticks

This list is only the beginning, though. Animals can swallow most anything and often do. Other frequently swallowed objects include sewing needles, nails, and nipples from baby bottles. VPI Pet Insurance has also received claims for animals who swallowed pagers, hearing aids, drywall, batteries, rubber bands and toy cars

Some of the objects pass through the animalís digestive system naturally but others become lodged in the animalís gastrointestinal tract causing pain, vomiting or internal injury. In such cases they must be removed surgically.

Unfortunately a person usually doesnít know their animal has swallowed anything out of the ordinary. If your animal has continual vomiting, dry heaving and/or coughing, he might have swallowed something inedible. If you notice these symptoms, take the animal to the veterinarian right away. The veterinarian will x-ray the animalís abdomen and may do an ultrasound as well to determine what the object is and whether it is causing an obstruction. The sooner a foreign object in the intestinal tract is diagnosed and removed the better for the animal.

The best way to avoid an emergency visit to the veterinarian is to keep a clean living space where dangerous or easy to swallow objects are out of an animalís reach. Make a certain number of toys available for your animal. Then if one is missing, youíll notice it quickly. Remember, too, that table scraps can contain grease, bones or other objects that animals have difficulty digesting.

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