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Dog Foreign Body Symptoms: What to Look Out For in Davenport, FL

Finding out that your dog has eaten something that they shouldn’t have can be a pretty scary event for dog owners, and you should call your emergency vet immediately if your dog has eaten a foreign body. However, sometimes we do not see when a dog eats an object they shouldn’t have. As a result, it can be helpful to know the symptoms of ingestion of a foreign body in dogs.

dog foreign body symptoms in davenport, FL

When a dog ingests a foreign body they may experience GI issues such as vomiting and diarrhea. In addition, a dog’s abdomen may be tender and painful after eating a foreign body. 

In this article we will be describing some of the common symptoms that dogs experience after ingesting a foreign body. Today we will be explaining what puts a dog at risk for eating a foreign body and what you should do if it occurs. Here are the dog foreign body symptoms that you should look out for.

When Are Dogs at Risk?

Dogs are most at risk of eating a foreign body when they are left unsupervised. Being left both outside can put your dog at risk of eating things like rocks, sticks, and outdoor toys.

In addition, leaving a dog unattended inside could put them at risk of ingesting some common household objects. To minimize your dog’s risk of eating something that they shouldn’t, putting your dog in a crate or puppy proofed room when you are not home is recommended, especially if:

  • Your dog is a puppy
  • Your dog is new to your home
  • Your dog is known to chew and try to eat objects they shouldn’t
  • The environment is unsafe for a dog to be left unsupervised in

What Kinds of Things Do Dogs Commonly Eat?

Let’s face it, some dogs tend to chew and try to eat things more than others. However, there are some common objects found in every home that can be very enticing for dogs to chew on and try to eat.

These include everyday items that smell like their owners such as dirty clothes, socks, blankets, pillows, and shoes. In addition to items that smell like a dog’s owners, a dog may try to eat things that smell like themselves as well. This means that items like toys, dog bed, collars, harnesses, and leashes are often fair game.

Foreign Body Symptoms to Look Out for in Davenport, FL

Although dogs can eat a huge variety of objects that could potentially cause obstruction, the symptoms of obstruction are usually pretty similar. Some common foreign body symptoms can be different in dogs, but it almost always includes at least one of the following symptoms.

Here are the common foreign body symptoms in dogs that you should look out for if you are a dog owner.


Constipation is a pretty common sign that your dog has ingested something that they shouldn’t have. This is especially true if the constipation seems to be lasting a long time and if your dog has been known to try and eat things that they shouldn’t be eating.

Some common signs of constipation in dogs include but may not be limited to:

  • Small amounts of stool passed (hard or wet)
  • Straining to defecate
  • Going long amounts of time before having a bowel movement

Vomiting and Diarrhea

On the other hand, vomiting and diarrhea could also be a sign that a dog has eaten a foreign body. If you notice that your dog is experiencing either vomiting or diarrhea for more than 24 hours then you should take them to the vet immediately.

Abdominal Pain and Tenderness

Abdominal pain and tenderness is a pretty telling sign that something is very wrong with your pet. As a result, you should take your dog to the vet immediately if you suspect that they are experiencing abdominal pain.

However, dogs cannot tell us when they are not feeling well. Here are some signs of abdominal pain in dogs:

  • Curling up in a strange way as a way to guard their stomach
  • A swollen distended stomach (may feel rigid to the touch)
  • Shaking, whimpering, and/or crying
  • Reluctance to move
  • Panting excessively or breathing heavily
  • A sudden onset of aggressive behavior (growling, snarling, biting)
  • Hiding

Reduced Appetite

When a dog is having some stomach issues then it is common for them to have a reduced appetite and not want to eat their dinner. This includes when their stomach ache is caused by eating a foreign body.

You should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible when a reduced appetite is prolonged or occurs alongside other symptoms.


Being lethargic is another common symptom of serious problems in dogs, and this includes stomach problems caused by ingesting a foreign body. This can include sleeping more often than usual, being reluctant to move around, and having difficulties with walking.

Like with dogs that have a reduced appetite, you should take your dog to the vet immediately if lethargy is accompanied by other unusual symptoms or if it is prolonged.

What to Do if Your Dog Ingests Something They Shouldn’t in Davenport, FL

You should take your dog to the vet immediately if they have eaten something that they shouldn’t have. This includes if you have caught your dog in the act, if you have found some evidence of the event left behind, or if you suspect that this is the cause of your dog’s strange symptoms lately.

Sometimes dogs can pass a foreign body on their own, and other times surgical intervention is needed. If surgery is needed, the prognosis and recovery time is generally pretty good once the foreign body is removed.

Your dog’s treatment plan depends on their size, age, what they have eaten, and where in their digestive tract the item is located. In addition, some dogs require some supportive care while passing a foreign body on their own. This supportive care often includes things like an IV drip to avoid dehydration. These dogs will also require X Rays to ensure that the foreign body is moving as it should be, and recovery is usually pretty minimal once the foreign body leaves the dog’s system.

At VHA, we have all the tools, skills, experience and knowledge to help your dog get back to their happy and healthy self. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you think your dog might have eaten something they shouldn’t have.

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About Veterinary Healthcare Associates

Veterinary Healthcare Associates in Winter Haven, FL, was established over 30 years ago as Maxwell Animal Clinic by Dr. John Maxwell. Maxwell Animal Clinic was a one-doctor general practice offering preventive care, dentistry, and standard surgical services to the community. As the years passed, Maxwell Animal Clinic evolved into a thriving 10-doctor general, specialty referral, and emergency veterinary practice.