Sunday, December 18, 2011

The Things Pets Eat

Veterinary Pet Insurance (VPI) received more than 6,500 claims for foreign object ingestion and spent nearly $5.2 million on such claims from January to November of this year, according to the Brea, California-based pet insurance company. Some of the notable items dogs and cats swallowed this year are listed below. All of the pets who swallowed these items underwent surgery to remove them and recovered.

  • Approximately 100 rocks
  • 14 hair bands
  • 62 vitamin D soft gels
  • Dental floss
  • A makeup sponge
  • Staples
  • A rat (which was swallowed whole)
  • Two plastic eyeballs and a bunch of broccoli stems
  • A rosebush
  • A sweatshirt
  • A wedding ring
  • Poison ivy
  • Soap
  • Pepper spray
  • Wires
  • Three sewing needles
  • Glue
  • 130 fish oil capsules
  • A battery

To see a full list of the notable items dogs and cats have swallowed this year, you can view this article.

Tips to Keep Your Pet Safe

Keep Small Objects Out of Reach: Keep small objects of any sort out of the reach of your pets. These can include: paper clips, staples, thumb tacks, rubber bands, hair bands, twist ties, and other small objects that could be easily ingested by your pet. I think it's best to keep small items in containers out of your pet's reach, if possible.

Buy Appropriate Toys: Unfortunately, just because a pet store sells it, doesn't mean every toy is safe for your pet. I recommend not purchasing any toys that have small parts that can be easily pulled off and ingested by your furry friend.

Keep All Poisonous Plants Out of Your Pet's Reach: There are hundreds of plants toxic to cats. You can visit the ASPCA's list of toxic plants to cats in order to find out which plants are harmful for your kitty.

Signs of Foreign Body Ingestion

If your kitty has swallowed something he or she shouldn't have, your furry friend may exhibit vomiting, lethargy, and possibly diarrhea (with or without blood). Cats who have swallowed a foreign object may not be able to eat or to keep anything down. They may appear depressed or become dehydrated as well. It is important to note that the symptoms a cat may show after swallowing a foreign object can vary significantly depending on the location of the object, object size, how long ago the object was swallowed, and the degree to which a pet's intestines or stomach is obstructed.

If you suspect your cat has swallowed a foreign body and begins to show clinical symptoms, please take him or her to the vet (or emergency veterinary hospital) as soon as possible to avoid life-threatening consequences.

1 comment:

  1. That's a very scary list. Thank you for such an important post!