Dog Swallowed A Toothpick

Has Your Dog Swallowed a Toothpick?

If you suspect that your dog has swallowed a toothpick, you should visit your veterinarian immediately. This is because the plastic, wood or metal object could wreak havoc on your dog’s digestive system.

Toothpicks are sharp objects that are difficult to digest. They can pierce your dog’s gastrointestinal wall and cause serious injury. In addition, they may end up in your dog’s stool, where they can remain in the digestive tract for days. A small dog may be particularly prone to this problem.

Your vet will take a thorough history of your dog’s behavior and will ask about the type and age of the toothpick. In many cases, it is safe to remove the toothpick by feeding your dog a piece of bread. But there are also instances when surgical removal is necessary. Surgical procedures involve an anesthetic, an open abdomen and stitches on the abdominal wall. The surgery can be painful for your pet and expensive. Fortunately, in most cases, an endoscope can be used instead.

You should also watch your dog carefully for signs of discomfort. This could include lethargy, pale gums, vomiting, bloating, diarrhea or other changes in your dog’s behavior. These symptoms are usually indicative of a more serious problem. Other signs of intestinal problems might include increased temperature, loss of appetite and a change in your dog’s posture. When your dog’s temperature rises, it might be a sign of an infection.

Another common problem is that a toothpick may be stuck in your dog’s esophagus. Small dogs can suffocate from this. Sometimes, a toothpick can even get stuck in the intestines and prevent your dog from defecating. While this is rarely an emergency, if the toothpick is left untreated, it can lead to peritonitis, a serious and potentially fatal infection.

There are also cases when the toothpick can be removed through endoscopy. This involves pushing an endoscope down your dog’s throat. However, this is an invasive procedure and not all clinics offer it. Consequently, it is not always the best option.

Dogs can also ingest other types of sharp objects. Onion loaves can be poisonous, while glass is not. Make sure to store sharp objects in an out of reach location. Also, remember to wear medical gloves when handling your dog.

Symptoms of toothpick ingestion in dogs include lethargy, pain, vomit and bleeding in the feces. In the most serious cases, your dog may require surgery to be removed. During this process, your veterinarian will use an anesthetic to numb your dog’s body. Depending on the severity of the situation, the surgery can be performed under general anesthesia or under deep sedation. Surgical toothpick removal is not without risk, but it is a more effective way of removing the toothpick.

For more information, visit the website of Sharon Zeigler, an animal veterinarian. She offers good advice and guidance. And remember to keep your dog away from sharp objects, particularly when you are not around. Don’t forget to clean up any spills and to keep sharp objects in a safe and secure location.

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