As pet parents, we all tend to overreact over such things from time to time. As soon as we find out Hooch swallowed that little piece of plastic broken off of Timmy’s fisher price toy, we are frantically loading the dog up in the vehicle, zooming straight to the nearest Pet Hospital, while on the telephone with your vet’s office! This overreaction seems to stem from a lack of preparedness. So, let’s quickly review a few reminders of what we should do when our Dogue de Bordeaux swallows something he shouldn’t. This will minimize your anxiety, helping you to keep a calmer head so that you can better help your dog. And really, it’s basic knowledge we should all have in Dogue de Bordeaux first aid care.
WHAT TO DO:
Dog’s explore the world with their eyes, noses as well as their mouths. Dogues de Bordeaux are no different, except they have darn big mouths. I have been amazed by some of the things these big guys can shove down their gullet. As every one of you know, dogs have no sense of “Oh, I really shouldn’t eat that, it has too many carbs” or “Oh, I shouldn’t eat that, it’s a battery”. Therefore, I can almost guarantee that you will be faced with this common scenario at one point or another when you get your Bordeaux. (Personally, I think I’m on my 4th or 5th remote). Let’s begin!
IF OBJECT IS STUCK IN THE MOUTH:
A foreign object in your dog’s mouth isn’t dangerous unless it blocks breathing, but it can be painful. Things such as broken piece of a stick or bone can cut tissue and cause bleeding. Sometimes, though, the only signs will be a reluctance to eat, or bad breath.
Step 1 Restrain the dog
For large breeds, kneel on the floor beside the dog and hug him to your chest with one arm around the neck and the other arm around the chest. Have a second person examine the mouth.
Step 2 Open the mouth
Place one hand over his head and circle the muzzle with your thumb and middle fingers so the fingertips press his lips against his teeth just behind the long canine teeth. This will prompt him to open his mouth. Use your other hand to press down on the jaw and open the mouth wider. Sometimes you can remove the object with your fingers. If you can’t reach it, try using a blunt-tipped tweezers.
String or ribbon
If ribbon or any other string-type of material is in the mouth, check to see if any part has been swallowed. If so, it is recommended that you leave it for your vet to remove because pulling string out of the throat can potentially cut tissue deep inside. This could lead to the death of the dog.
IF FOREIGN OBJECT IS SWALLOWED:
As long as the object is small enough, it usually passes out of the dog’s system with a bowel movement. Sharp objects like screws, or broken bones can cut the dog from the inside and get caught. Other objects swell inside the stomach with moisture.
Soft objects – Induce vomiting
Like a baby-bottle nipple, or soft piece of a toy. Vomiting must be induced within 2 hours of the object being swallowed, or it won’t work. To induce vomiting: use a needless syringe, or eyedropper to squirt 3% hydrogen peroxide into the back of the dog’s mouth. Give one teaspoon for every 15 lbs of body weight.
Sharp objects-Call your vet immediately
There are sooo many things I could list as examples. Pieces of the remote, pieces of plastic off of a child’s toy, needles, anything with a sharp edge. Inducing vomiting for a sharp object could hurt the dog coming back up. Go to your vet’s office, or if you live far away, call your vet’s office immediately.
Watch for signs
If you see your dog eat a foreign object, and he’s vomiting, retching unproductively, looks distressed, or behaves abnormally, the object may be caught in the esophagus. Go the vet right away.
The longer it stays in the stomach, the better
If your dog eats a foreign object, but doesn’t have any symptoms, it has probably passed into the stomach with no problems. At that point, the longer the object stays in the stomach, the better. The stomach acid may dissolve or soften the material. Feed a bulky meal of dry food to delay the passage of the object. This will also cushion any sharp edges and expand the stomach cavity so that the object “floats” in the middle instead of rubbing and poking the stomach lining.
Keep an eye on the # 2’s
Monitor the bowel movements if the dog is unable to vomit up the object. Typically it will pass within 24-72 hours. Large or heavy objects will take longer. Call your vet if the dog develops diarrhea or vomiting, or seems to be in pain.
Batteries, coins & metal items
If any of these things are swallowed, your pet needs immediate medical attention. Do not wait for the item to pass. Coins can be deadly because zinc is used to process pennies and nickels, and it can poison your dog. Copper is also toxic once digested. Batteries can cause poisoning from the heavy metals used to make them. These items must be surgically removed by your veterinarian ASAP.
1.) Obviously, you want to make sure your house is puppy proofed before bringing your new Dogue de Bordeaux puppy home. Make sure cables/cords are not within reach of your pet’s mouth. Keep all remotes, phones, gadgets, etc. out of reach. Do not keep change lying on end tables, or anywhere else that your pet could potentially get to it. These are guidelines that should be maintained throughout the life of your dog. Not just while your Dogue de Bordeaux is a puppy. Adult dogs can be just as destructive as puppies if they feel like it.
2.) Make sure you provide ample chew items so your dog has an outlet for his “chewing energy”. Supply your dog with raw hides, chew toys, large bones (raw, never cooked), or antlers. All these are great options. Remember, your Dogue de Bordeaux puppy is as big as many adult breed dogs. They will go through these items rather quickly. Pick quality toys that can hold up to that kind of punishment. We prefer KONG brand toys. They are very sturdy. Regularly inspect their toys. Replace them as needed. Never leave raw hides/bones for your dog to chew on while unsupervised. Again, these are things your dog needs throughout his life, not just during puppyhood.
3.) It has proven true that if you fulfill the needs that your dog has, he will be less likely to destroy property he knows he should not be touching. Ensure that you are supplying your dog with appropriate exercise, discipline (rules & boundaries), and affection every single day. This will bring your dog into a healthy, balanced state of mind.