With the fall weather closing in, and thoughts turning to Thanksgiving, one of our staff had a scare today that led me to write this blog. This entry is meant to remind all of us to be extra careful – not only our food waste in the garbage, but also what we put in our ‘Green Bins’!
Kim’s dogs got into some dried corn cobs that were in her Green Bin. Corn Cobs are one of the most problematic of all things dogs can eat, as they are difficult at times to see on X-Ray, and even the smallest portion of the cob can result in an intestinal blockage requiring emergency surgery! (See the picture of a cob portion that required surgical removal) Too many times, our clients don’t know what their pet has gotten into, but they present to our practice vomiting, depressed, and have an inability to hold water or food down.
The dogs ate some drying cobs that were thought to be out of reach, and thank goodness; Kim knew that it had happened, Knew the time that they had been able to get to them was less then an hour, and most Importantly – Knew that it was an emergency. Dried Corn Cobs are less likely to cause the blockages then those that ‘fresh’ cobs will lead to if eaten.
Treatment can be as simple as what happened with Kim’s dogs – we X-Rayed them, figured out that the cobs were very well chewed up, and that we could likely resolve the situation by inducing vomiting. It appears to have worked. (see comments below)
However, with Thanksgiving coming up – Sunnyview Animal Care wants to remind our clients to be extra careful in disposing of not only Turkey or Chicken bones safely, but also watch that your Green Bin is not accidentally accessed. Too Many cases of Corn Cob ingestion – Sunnyview has about one a year – result in the need for emergency surgery to remove them. Fresh Corn Cob is less likely to be broken up in the stomach to allow your Veterinarian to safely induce vomiting, let alone for the pet to safely vomit the cob(s) up. Some cobs can be removed with an endoscope, but not many Vet practices have them, and sadly there are some cases of pets going into cardiac arrhythmias as the cob is pulled back up the esophagus – leading to their passing. Also, if the cob or it’s fragments have moved into the small intestine, then the ‘scope’ may not be able to reach nor extract them – meaning exploratory surgery is needed anyway.
In many cases, and in our opinion – the timely exploration of the abdomen is the safest option for your pet’s recovery from Corn Cob ingestion; To allow your Veterinarian to fully asses your pet’s intestines & stomach and, To allow for the timely removal of all the fragments. Please note, that even if you attempt to induce vomiting and, not have your pet examined and X-rayed at your veterinary clinic – there is still a risk if your pet may NOT actually vomit all the fragments up – there may still be some cob fragments left in the stomach, or they may have already migrated into the small intestine. There is also the significant risk of the vomiting leading to impaction of the foreign body within the esophagus.
So we are clear – Sunnyview is NOT recommending you induce vomiting for any foreign body ingestion without your Veterinarian’s direct involvement.
Please, have a safe and Happy Thanksgiving from the Staff at Sunnyview.Vet Let us also give Thanks not only for time with our families, but for the companionship our pets give us everyday, in addition to the love of all of those in our daily lives!