Current AffairsVeterinary

Ten odd items swallowed by pets

From socks to babies’ dummies. Vet charity PDSA has named the ten oddest items commonly swallowed by pets. Last year, the organisation treated nearly 400 pets for swallowing things they shouldn’t. PDSA’s Bradford Pet Hospital topped the table with a whopping 33 cases.

The Top Ten

The PDSA’s 51 Pet Hospitals compiled a list of the most commonly gobbled items:

  1. Bones – 59 cases
  2. Stones – 29 cases
  3. Corn on the cob – 28 cases
  4. Plastic e.g. parts of kids toys, food wrapping – 25 cases
  5. Rubber balls – 19 cases
  6. Rubber e.g. parts of dog toys – 19 cases
  7. Socks – 11 cases
  8. Thread – 9 cases
  9. Babies’ dummy teats – 9 cases
  10. (Joint) Kebab sticks/Peach stones – 7 cases of each

PDSA vet Rebecca Ashman said in the past staff have also removed tent pegs, knives and radio aerials.

Rebecca said: “You’d be amazed at some of the crazy things pets eat. Our top ten list highlights the objects we saw most frequently last year, but every now and again we see even more unusual cases.”

Thanks to funding from players of People’s Postcode Lottery, PDSA is educating pet owners about the phenomenon of pets eating strange objects – known as ‘pica’ – and how to keep their animals’ safe.

Rebecca added: “Pets, especially puppies and younger dogs, like to use their mouth to investigate objects as well as to eat. Sometimes a pet will swallow an item by mistake, even though they had only meant to investigate it.

“We might think it’s comical but in some cases it is incredibly dangerous and can even prove fatal. If an object moves along the digestive system, it can cause a tear or life-threatening blockage.

“If you have pets at home, try to keep anything dangerous or easy to swallow out of paws’ reach. Only let them play with suitable pet toys and try to supervise them to avoid any accidents. If you do suspect your pet has swallowed something you should contact your vet for advice immediately.”

PDSA vets say training pets from a young age can help to curb their temptation to chew objects, and they can learn basic commands like ‘drop’ and ‘leave’.

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