What is Obstruction Due to Corn Cob, Rawhide, and Stuffed Toy?
Some of the objects that we give our dogs may be dangerous, particularly if they are allowed unsupervised access to the items. Corn, although not easily digested, is generally a safe food for dogs with no corn related allergies. The corn cob, however, can prove problematic, causing dangerous blockages and possibly even perforation of the intestines. Rawhide and stuffed toys are entertaining for many dogs, however, care should be taken to ensure that your dog not swallow too much rawhide nor ingest any part of stuffed toys, as these materials can also cause life-threatening blockages in the digestive system.
Corn cobs, rawhide chew toys, and stuffed toys can cause serious digestive obstructions to canine companions when ingested, and may require surgical intervention.
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Symptoms of Obstruction Due to Corn Cob, Rawhide, and Stuffed Toy in Dogs
If your dog has been affected by an intestinal obstruction, you will likely see a combination of the following symptoms within ten to twenty-four hours after consumption:
- Abdominal bloating
- Abdominal pain
- Dark, tarry stools
- Excessive drooling
- Forceful vomiting
- General ill health
- Inability to defecate
- Loss of appetite
- Straining to defecate
- Weight loss
If the corn cobs are minimally chewed, then large chunks can easily get caught in the throat causing the animal to choke. Even when successfully swallowed the sharp edges can cause lacerations to the lining of the stomach or the intestines. Even well-chewed corn cobs can collect in the intestine and cause a blockage.
Rawhide has a tendency to swell, so large sections of rawhide can induce choking and cause an obstruction to the digestive system. Many dogs prefer rawhide to other chewing mediums, but they should only be given to your canine with supervision to prevent too much from swallowed.
Not only is there a risk of obstruction if your pet ingests the stuffing or fabric from stuffed toys, but if it is not a stuffed toy designed for dogs, the stuffing may include chemicals that can be toxic if ingested.
Causes of Obstruction Due to Corn Cob, Rawhide, and Stuffed Toy in Dogs
All of these items are typically indigestible, and smaller fragments will generally pass through the digestive system nearly unchanged. The problem with these objects occurs when larger chunks or substantial quantities of the items are ingested. Large chunks of corn cob may become lodged in the throat or perforate the intestines. Rawhide and some types of stuffing in toys are prone to expanding in the stomach, increasing the chances of an obstruction, and any indigestible objects can gather together in the intestines to block the passage of food. Severe blockages in the digestive system can restrict blood flow to the intestines as well.
Diagnosis of Obstruction Due to Corn Cob, Rawhide, and Stuffed Toy in Dogs
Your veterinarian will complete a full physical examination, paying particular attention to the state of the abdomen, as well as getting a full medical and dietary history for the patient. The examining vet may discover that the abdomen is extremely sensitive to the touch and large masses are sometimes palpable during these examinations, helping to pinpoint where the obstruction has lodged. A standard blood workup, including a complete blood count, urinalysis, and biochemistry profile will also typically be requested to detect if there are any imbalances or toxins in the patient’s system.
If an intestinal blockage is suspected, the examiner will usually opt for further imaging in order to determine precisely where the blockage is located as well as how large the obstruction is. Ultrasound technology, x-rays, or even a barium study may be selected to accurately visualize the possible obstruction. Although x-rays may not reveal as much information about any of these particular items, the ultrasound imaging with barium study can be extremely beneficial in determining a treatment plan.
Treatment of Obstruction Due to Corn Cob, Rawhide, and Stuffed Toy in Dogs
In very mild cases, non-surgical options may be able to be utilized to remove the blockage from the system. Administering doses of mineral oil may help some very small items, like fabric and small chunks of corn cob, pass through the stomach, and feeding the dog a high fiber meal every four to six hours may help to push the objects safely through the digestive tract. Some small to medium sized objects may be able to be removed using an endoscope, but the outcome is frequently surgical.
Surgery to remove the obstruction will be performed under general anesthesia, and the health of the intestines will be evaluated. Gastric obstruction can impede the flow of blood to parts of the dog’s digestive system as well, causing necrosis to the blood-starved areas and necessitating the removal of a portion of the intestine itself. Excessive distention of the intestines and twisting of the intestines can complicate both surgery and recovery.
Recovery of Obstruction Due to Corn Cob, Rawhide, and Stuffed Toy in Dogs
Keeping the recovering patient in a quiet, calm environment during convalescence will help to encourage a full recovery, as will making sure that your pet completes the full measure of any recommended or prescribed medications. Medical support such as laxatives, antacids, and stomach protectants may be prescribed to oppose the symptoms, and your pet is likely to need more trips to relieve themselves than they normally would. Your canine companion might need a follow-up appointment if any new symptoms are raised, even if a visit to your veterinarian was not initially required. This is to ensure that there are no remaining issues that may not have obvious outward signs.