Toys: they’re great. Entertainment for your pups, great distractions, and they’re just fun to collect for your dog! But monitoring is key. Unfortunately, Toby got a little too excited with one of his toys…
Usually during dinner time, my family eats together in the kitchen, and Toby takes a nap at the entrance to the kitchen from the dining room. Last night, he was in his crate instead, playing with a toy. Nine times out of ten, I supervise my dog when he’s playing with a toy, chewing on a tartar buster, or doing anything with his mouth. Last night, I didn’t.
After dinner when I went to check up on him, I noticed 3 of the 4 limbs of a chew toy were missing. I went into full panic-mode and frantically searched EVERYWHERE for the toy pieces. Since they were no where to be found, the only place they could have gone was in his stomach.
At this point, I was hysterical. I was sobbing, shaking as I tried to Google the nearest 24 hour emergency vet, and quickly packing up all his things he needed for the vet: leash, poop bags, all his paperwork from his regular vet, his pet insurance info, and treats – not for consumption at this point, but rather to lure him in/out of the car and vet clinic.
Luckily, the vet wasn’t too far, around a 25 minute drive and it was pretty empty. I only knew of this vet because a few members in the GRA Facebook group mentioned this vet clinic a few times with only positive experiences. The one thing I completely forgot to pack in that flurry of throwing things into my purse was his Pawz rubber booties. He’s terrified of tile floors and I should have remembered since he’s also scared of the tile floors at his regular vet. So, the little young master needed to be carried into the vet office, like this:
After 45 minutes of filling out paperwork and waiting, my little Toby was all better. Mostly. He was a little drugged out as they had to induce vomiting with one drug, and then administered another drug to stop the vomiting. So he lost all of his dinner and threw up all three pieces of his chew toy (thank goodness!). With my discussion at the vet I learned these things:
- Of the 3 toy limbs he ingested, 2 of them would have been pooped out, but the third definitely would have gotten stuck in his intestines which would have needed an expensive surgery. It was a good thing I brought him in when I did to induce vomiting.
- And another thing to note: greyhounds are very sensitive to anesthesia. You want to avoid that as much as possible.
- There are at-home remedies you can use to induce vomiting for your dog. Diluted hydrogen peroxide (a low percentage) can be used on your dog but for emergencies only. The vet I talked to said that if your dog ingests something serious or toxic and you can’t get to the vet in time, then you can use it. Otherwise, for a situation like this, it is best to take your pet to the vet as the drug they use won’t irritate the stomach like the hydrogen peroxide will.
After we finished up the paperwork, got the pet insurance claim, paid the vet, we were on our way home. Toby is 100% fine; he ate well, slept well, walked well, and did his bowel movements well.
So, lessons learned from this experience:
- Always try to monitor your dog when they’re playing with their toys. They may be more rough with some toys.
- INSPECT YOUR TOYS. I should have known not to leave him unattended with the toy as the limbs have been ripped off before. They were sewn back on but I didn’t expect him to eat it since he’s never tried before. Lesson definitely learned.
- Make sure your toys are appropriate for your dog’s strength/energy level and age. I’m pretty sure the toy was meant for puppies but I got it because it was on sale (like, super cheap) at the pet store.
- Ingestion of toys isn’t a laughing matter. My parents didn’t understand the severity of it. I only knew of this because another greyhound owner posted about their greyhound eating a sock on the Facebook group. They induced vomiting on their hound with hydrogen peroxide. In the comments below from that post from more experienced greyhound owners, they said that it would take around 2 hours before whatever they ingest (food, toys, socks…) to reach the intestine. Now, I haven’t done additional research to validate that statement, but I trust the words of the people in the group.
- With that being said, I am extremely grateful that that person posted about their hound eating a sock. Without that knowledge, I wouldn’t have known the severity either.
- And on that note, it’s important that passionate dog owners show a bit of empathy. Everyone makes mistakes. I definitely made one when I left him with that toy unattended. But I think what’s most important is that people learn and grow from their mistakes. And, never doubt or question the love of a dog’s owner. I think some people get so engrossed in their passion and don’t realize they are bashing, belittling, and ranting at an already upset owner who made a mistake and was looking for help or guidance. So, a reminder to everyone: be kind, have empathy.
- Remember to bring his rubber booties wherever he goes: my little prince needs them.
- Keep calm. I think Toby was extra excited because my heart rate was definitely up and running around trying to get him from A to B.
- Always remember to ask questions. Ask what they’re using on your dog, ask what to do next after you take your pet home, ask what other at-home remedy options there might be. It’s always good to be informed by professionals.
- Pet insurance came in handy. I’m grateful I am covered by insurance because that trip to the vet cost me just over $300! But the lesson here is that accidents happen and having a safety net is key. Whether it’s pet insurance or a pet emergency fund you put aside, it’s always good to be prepared.
- Finally, reflect. Reflect on what happened. Think about ways you could have prevented it, ways on how to handle things if it happens again, and the lessons you learned. Dogs will get into things they’re not supposed to. But if we can mitigate those risks, it’ll be better for our loved pets, our own mental state, and our wallets.
I hope my experience will help someone out there. Looking back, there were red flags here and there that I should have recognized. But I have learned my lesson and we’re moving on.
Until the next post,