My dog ate a sanitary napkin or tampon - what can I do?
It's a bit gross and so little discussed, but there are regular occurrences of a dog eating a pad or tampon. Did yours just do that too? For dog owners it is a shock to discover what their pet is fishing out of the garbage can. The question immediately comes out: is my dog at risk and what should I do now? Here is the answer.
How dangerous is it if the dog eats a pad or tampon?
The smell of blood attracts many dogs almost magically. The blood is harmless to the dog. However, swallowed pads and tampons can be life-threatening for dogs. The following health problems can result:
- The dog can choke to deatch on a bandage or tampon. The swelling of the pulp of the product can be risky, especially for small dog breeds.
- The dog can have an obstruction of the intestines if the tampon or pad becomes inconveniently caught in the intestines. For the small intestine in particular, hygiene products can be too big and get stuck. An intestinal obstruction can lead to the death of intestinal tissue and lead to death.
- The dog can suffer intestinal injuries if the tampon string cuts the tissue in the digestive tract.
In general, the following rule applies: any foreign body in the digestive tract can be life-threatening for the dog. Call your vet immediately!
What happens after a dog has eaten a pad or tampon?
If a dog swallows a tampon or a pad, in whole or in part, the hygiene product first passes its mouth and stomach. Severe stomach cramps and persistent vomiting can occur if the foreign body is too large to get further into the intestines. If the pad or tampon has already penetrated the small intestine, the hygiene product can cause a blockage there. Then the animal vomits after it drinks or eats. With a partial intestinal obstruction, diarrhea can occur. Bloody and black feces indicate an injury to the inner wall of the intestine. With a complete intestinal obstruction, the dog can no longer expel feces. Loss of appetite and fever may occur.
In some cases, the sanitary napkin or tampon passes through the intestines and is excreted. Large dog breeds in particular can (but do not have to!) survive the unsavory meal without damages.
What does the vet do if the dog has eaten a tampon or a sanitary napkin?
For veterinarians, swallowed foreign bodies are always a medical emergency. How the vet works, depends on several factors. For example, the behavior of the dog and the dog breed or size of the dog. Sometimes the vet advises to come to the practice immediately. There the dog can be artificially made to vomit. In addition, an X-ray examination can show the current position of the hygiene product that has been swallowed. Under certain circumstances, a blockage can be released with an enema. In acute cases, however, foreign bodies must be surgically removed from the digestive tract.
Sometimes the vet recommends leaving the dog at home for a short time and closely monitoring its condition and behavior. It can take several days for an eaten hygiene product to be excreted.
In any case, it is advisable to contact a veterinarian immediately if your fur nose eats a hygiene product. Then follow the instructions of the vet in order not to endanger your dog's health!