Whole Dog Journal's Blog April 12, 2017

Oh, Woody

Posted at 02:35PM - Comments: (24)

I recently went on a vacation without dogs, for a whole week. My sister took care of my perfect, nine-year-old dog Otto, but my young adult son took care of my adolescent dog, Woody. It was a better fit because my son is an athlete and runs, and Woody would get enough exercise to keep him out of trouble.

About 36 hours after I returned and met with my son and brought Woody home, I awoke to the sound of a dog about to vomit  – you all know that sound. I jumped out of bed and ran to open the door and encourage the vomiter, who of course turned out to be Woody, to go outside. He lurched over to some tall grass and threw up. Then he went back into the house, climbed onto the couch, and went back to sleep. I went back to bed.

I was way too tired to investigate the vomitus until after it was light out, later that morning.  Here is what I found! 

This makes the SECOND small-sized tennis ball that Woody has swallowed. I told the story about the first one back in November, and I’ve been assiduous about making sure he has had no access to these small balls ever since. My son was well aware of Woody’s preference for tennis balls, and especially the small ones, and thought he had put the few that were rolling around his house in a safe place. But after I texted him about this ball, he wracked his brain and remembered that as he was driving to where we met a day and a half before, he had twice caught Woody on the floor of the back seat of his car, rooting around underneath the front seat for something – and then he put it together that one of those small balls must have been under the seat. D’oh!

Well, thank goodness that Woody threw up the ball on his own – and that he didn’t suffer a blockage, since I didn’t know that he swallowed anything and wouldn’t have been on the lookout for signs of a blockage. But the fact that I’m paying for health insurance for him just makes more and more sense, every time he vomits up something he never should have swallowed. We’re up to at least five inappropriate swallowing/vomiting incidents at this point. And that doesn’t even include this Kong Safestix that he chewed up in a few unsupervised minutes as I was loading the car before my vacation.  (I put all the pieces together next to an intact one, so I could make sure that most of it had not been swallowed.)

These are not meant for chewing, or unsupervised play. I didn't know he had it, until it was too late.

When will this adolescent teething phase be over?!


Comments (24)

I'm hoping someone can give me some piece of mind. My 7 year old beagle died 6 weeks ago very unexpectedly. Initially I took her to the vet on a Saturday because her head was tipped just a little to the side & she had the end of her tongue sticking out the end of her mouth. The vet looked in her eyes, said he saw nothing, then checked her ears & found some dirt. He looked at the dirt under the microscope & determined she had a yeast infection in her ears. End of exam. This dog was always a vorascious eater. I had to feed her from one of the bowls that looked like a maze to slow her eating. She would eat all the time if allowed. Several days later I called the vet & told him she was hardly eating so he put her on prednisone. Saturday, a week later, she starts to vomit and balls up the rug underneath of her and cries out in pain. I called the same vet and it was close to the end of their visiting hours so he tells me to make an appointment for several days later because he was near the end of his hours. I told them I didn't know if she would last a couple days. They told me I could take her to the emergency vet which I did. When I went to the emergency vet they gave her something that they said was for pain and took her to the back and did bloodwork and x-rays. after what seemed like a long time the vet came back and said that her labs looked good except her liver enzymes were elevated a little. She thought she might see a mass in her belly but wasn't sure. So they gave me antinausea medicine and pain medicine and sent her home with instructions that if her respirations were over 40 per minute to give them a call. Her respirations increased to over 80 per minute. I called the ER vet and they said to give her a pain pill. keep in mind that she walked into the vets office we carried her out of the vets office & she got up once after that and that was it. I gave her the pain medicine as instructed and we went to bed. about 4 o'clock in the morning we heard her crying out in pain. I immediately called the ER vet and was told that the veterinarian was it an emergency surgery and couldn't see her. At this point when we looked at her she looked like she was in a coma & her respirations were even higher. again they told me to give her another pain pill and that I should probably take her to another vet which at the least would be an hour drive away. I decided to wait until 7 AM and call our regular vet. However when we woke up she had died . I am having a terrible time accepting her death feeling I should have done more. I should have taken her back to the vet when her respirations were so high. But. why didn't they tell me to bring her back over? Both the ER vet & our family vet do not know why she died. I was feeding her high protein food to try to get her to lose some weight. The vet also mentioned her belly looked distended. Does anyone think it could have been the shot they gave her or the high protein food? I am just devastated. I am overcome wuth guilt and grief. Can anyone help me understand any of this?

Posted by: mustluvbeagles | April 30, 2017 11:01 AM    Report this comment

Sammie, my 13-year old Toy Manchester Terrier, had NEVER eaten any inappropriate items. Last year he swallowed an entire 15-foot nylon rope while I was at work. He began feeling bad but the vet could find nothing wrong and even asked if he could have swallowed something. I said, "never!" A few mornings later Sammie had about 8 inches of rope hanging from his rectum. The vet attempted to remove the rope but surgery was needed by opening his stomach and two portions of his intestines to remove one entire 15-foot rope. He is fine today and still runs around like a puppy. I have decided to keep a much neater home.

Posted by: monaf | April 17, 2017 2:58 PM    Report this comment

Normally, the chewing is started as a pup. Their baby teeth "itch" and they chew to make them loosen and come out
However, if u do nothing about it when a pup, he won't learn not to do it.
A Penny Bottle is a good tool, when the dog chews something bad, shake the bottle, they hate that noise and will stop. THEN U REDIRECT THEM TO SOMETHING THEY ARE ALLOWED TO CHEW. It won't happen in 20 tries, but if consistent, it will stop..

Posted by: PaminIndy | April 16, 2017 11:29 PM    Report this comment

Years ago I had female GSD that had a few interesting quirks. When she was young, she stole $60 off of my desk and ate it. I found it days later in the back yard doing poop patrol. I was actually semi-relieved. Up to that point, I though someone stole the money! Her next adventure was a rawhide that I tried taking away from her and she swallowed it whole. At that time I did not know that rawhide wasn't digestible so I wasn't too worried. Again, days later in the back yard, she was straining to "go". I took a closer look and the rawhide was on its way out but stuck just short. Had to help with that one. Then in her elder years she took up eating towels. She had to have one surgery around 11-12 years of age to remove 1/2 of a full size bath towel. Around age 14 she ate another towel and with the knowledge of her not being able to live through another surgery I started her on a cod liver oil regimen. It worked. It took about a week but there we were again in the the back yard with a towel on the way out. I never learned why she started eating towels.

Posted by: Fordamutz | April 14, 2017 10:58 PM    Report this comment

Don't feed your dogs knuckle bones or shank bones as this is how dogs break teeth. The bones are too hard.

For a squeaky ball with an incorporated squeaker that your dog cannot chew out of the ball , buy the planet dog squeak ball. It is $15. It's cheapest on Amazon if you have free shipping through Amazon because the planet dog website charges five dollars for shipping. This ball was actually recommended on the whole dog journal Christmas gift list.

Posted by: beckys11 | April 14, 2017 8:13 PM    Report this comment

I had a Ridgeback that would always swallow socks, and eventually vomit them up.
We would always go around the house and make sure there were no socks laying around, but with 2 boys he would always find one somehow.
One morning I got up and my dog was not acting well, weak and not able to walk.
I took him to the emergency clinic, he had gone into septic shock. They did an X-ray and he had a blockage, he passed several hours later.
Please be aggresive on making sure your dogs don't end up like mine, they are quick to swallow objects and it can be deadly.

Posted by: Simbadog | April 14, 2017 7:51 PM    Report this comment

When I took my Golden Retriever to be neutered, the vet gave him some valium to relax him. He then threw up -- a five foot leash -- but no metal clasp. I had found the clasp in the house, but never thought he would swallow the leash. Since then, he has swallowed a large cloth napkin, several paper towels, and a dog friend's soft toy. Each time I had to take him to the vet to induce vomiting. He is five years old now and still doing this. We have a new kitten, but I can't get her little toys because my dog would ingest them. Other than this very bad behavior, he is a perfect dog!

Posted by: mr sweetheart | April 14, 2017 4:55 PM    Report this comment

About a year ago I let my current dog Buddy, a poodle/beagle mix, out to do his business, earlier than usual, about 3:30am. Minutes later, he came running back into the house and proceeded to spray blood from his rectum all over the place(pretty picture, right? And my wife is a neat freak!) Then he calmed down. Less than an hour later he started again passing blood. Off to the Animal Hospital we went. During the drive, he made a bloody mess on my car's back seat.
Well, $900(extra fee for emergency hours of operation) later we found out Buddy had eaten what was most likely a bird and had suffered internal bleeding. Several weeks of medication and a special diet and he was back to his old self.
Our yard is fenced, keeping Buddy safe and unable to wander. Obviously, the fence doesn't keep all other animals, like birds, out.
You can never be too safe with your pets but you can never be sure things are safe enough either. Kind of like life in general.

Posted by: walterstoffelauthor@gmail.com | April 14, 2017 10:15 AM    Report this comment

I always thought that dog retching sound should be on an alarm clock, it gets me out of bed faster than any other noise!

Posted by: mjk | April 13, 2017 3:12 PM    Report this comment

I am so lucky with my two newer pups. Mandy doesn't like much at all. not even toys. Jack on the other hand loves the soup bones and if they are stuffed with peanut butter or bacon and cheese...forget him, he will go somewhere to enjoy his bone. Now if there are stuffed toys; look out. He will unstuff them in seconds, pull out the squeaker and then leave them where ever they drop. He did his job; he destroyed these menaces. Other than that he couldn't care less. He does like soft squeaker balls and they are hard to find. He will play forever with them.
Now I had a Pom who ate sheets, quilts, pillow cases, blankets, I gave him one of the nylon teething bones, he demolished it. He never had a problem with all he ate. KoKo the dauchie loved anything paper and loved the garbage can.
I finally cleaned out the can, scrubbed it, then put him in for an hour. the next day, He knocked it over again and ate the crumbs. Nothing stopped this tweenie. I could never figure out how he did it. One day I watched and saw him climb into the kitchen chair and jump into the garbage can and then knocked it over.

Posted by: Daizie59 | April 13, 2017 2:24 PM    Report this comment

My first Golden many years ago had a problem at the opposite end. I was watching him one day in the fenced back yard, doing his business, when I noticed he was in distress while defecating. I ran out to look, and saw a large object hanging from his rectum. I ran into the house, put on a rubber glove, and returned to s--l-o-w-l-y pull out the object. It came out intact with no significant sequela and was one of my wife's intact pantyhose. I told her that if she washed it, it would probably be fine to wear again.

The couch was very firm, but not too bad for a few nights!

Posted by: Gabrielle1 | April 13, 2017 2:20 PM    Report this comment

Also, the only toys my Rottie has to play with are from WestPaw and one that's called a Pickle Pocket from Starmark that you can put treats in. No fabric toys ever. My poor cats are deprived - Griffin would eat their toys for sure!

Posted by: Owlish | April 13, 2017 1:26 PM    Report this comment

I have a Rottweiler who is 5. His most recent indiscretion was a plastic garden glove. When I called the vet, he said he wasn't too worried because Griffin is such a big dog, but he prescribed 2 heaping Tbsp. of powdered psyllium every day for 3 days to see if we could get it to pass through. And it did - late on the second day. I've never seen him poop so much! He is also a paper eater - loves Kleenex and paper towels and anything else he happens to find that is paper. Luckily, all of that seems to pass through without a problem. Perhaps it's a good source of fiber?

Posted by: Owlish | April 13, 2017 1:23 PM    Report this comment

Small toys are the worst! Have you tried giving large raw bones, i.e., knuckle and shank? I have been giving my 4 dogs large raw bones for the last 27 years without any problems. It satisfies their need to chew, which prevents some behavior problems, entertains them, and has kept even old dogs teeth clean. My vet knows that I do this and has never advised against it. I get them from a local butcher.

Posted by: hilfri | April 13, 2017 1:05 PM    Report this comment

Our almost 10 month old Pom will consume any toy, towels, pet beds you name it. Drives us nuts. He gets a fair amount of exercise and will get more once the snow gets off the ground. He is full of fun and joy. Love him so much. We have had dogs and multiple ones most of the time but never one that has decided to eat our house, during our almost 50 years of marriage. So far he has passed everything and we try to watch him very carefully now but he has been a challenge

Posted by: GrandmaSusieof9 | April 13, 2017 11:17 AM    Report this comment

I have an almost one year old Pit mix who will try to eat just about anything. She seems to mostly just chew things up and spit them out but she vomited something up yesterday that I couldn't even identify. It's too bad, really, because she loves squeaky balls, but eventually gets to the squeaker. I've been very fortunate to have found each one, but I have no illusions that she won't swallow one. Finding suitable toys that she will enjoy but not chew to pieces has been a challenge. We found some fairly hard rubber balls that she will chase after but hasn't seriously tried to chew. I'm really hoping her chewing phase is just a puppy thing. Fingers crossed.

Posted by: MJC | April 13, 2017 10:58 AM    Report this comment

I recently witnessed my 13 1/2 yo sheltie swallow a whole water bottle cap. The vet had no luck trying to get him to vomit it out and so they went in endoscopicly to remove it. When the procedure was done the vet called with the good news: We got the cap AS WELL AS THE POPSICKLE STICK. I figure the stick had been in there at least 6 months, since summer. He gave absolutely no indication. Thankfully he has health insurance. The moral of this story..... Sorry -- some never grow out of it!

Posted by: Dogmom5403 | April 13, 2017 10:54 AM    Report this comment

Oh my goodness! I have Murphy, who could literally be Woody's brother from another mother! Literally and figuratively! He is about the same age and they look very similar! We have the same issue with Murphy. Fingers crossed they outgrow this behavior soon! ...I love reading about Woody's adventures! Otto too!

Posted by: Shelby G-R | April 13, 2017 10:49 AM    Report this comment

I hope your dog grows out of it. My boyfriend's dog is 12 and still can't be trusted. When they moved in with me and my dogs, 7 years ago, I had to remove the toy basket from the house. It was sad because one of my dogs liked to carry a toy around with him for a good portion of the day but my boyfriend's dog could have them ripped up and eaten in mere minutes. I spent a small fortune on "indestructible" toys before giving up. I once took my eye off him for a few minutes while cooking dinner and managed to eat part of a large kong wobbler treat dispenser, thick, hard plastic! I feel I should knock for luck on every indigestible item he has ever consumed, but so far, he has managed to pass everything through or vomit it back up with no blockages. I'd have to agree with another commenter that in some dogs it's a behavior issue and not teething.

Posted by: Beeker | April 13, 2017 10:21 AM    Report this comment

I have a year-old female Portuguese Water Dog with a long history of "food indiscretions" including plastic bags, rocks, squeakers, branches, paper, cow and deer poop, toys with and without stuffing and other unknown items. She is rarely alone because I have two dogs so they are not bored and I am around most of the time. We walk about 5 miles a day so boredom and lack of exercise are not the problem. I have tried various methods of control to keep undesirable things away from her and have tried to convince her that legitimate toys are interesting with uneven results. She does not eat my things (sneakers, socks, t-shirts, sofa pillows) but it is hard to establish ownership of stones, poop and litter thrown on the road. Any ideas? PWDs are active, but for a dog who just had her first birthday, she is quite well-mannered and obedient.

Posted by: Alice P | April 13, 2017 10:14 AM    Report this comment

We are developing a digestible squeaker and will shortly be launching a funding campaign on Kickstarter to develop the company. The biggest fear when we see the squeaker torn out from the body of the toy is, "where is that squeaker!!"

Posted by: snowdogflyer | April 13, 2017 9:51 AM    Report this comment

My ball of choice is a Lacrosse ball. Very hard and not one to catch on-the-fly but OK if bounced. Practically indestructible.

Posted by: JackSivak | April 13, 2017 9:45 AM    Report this comment

never give your dogs a tennis ball. Use a harder ball and larger that he can swallow. And never give chew or bully sticks on anything that they can get down. Those toys can kill.

Posted by: nanjo | April 13, 2017 9:37 AM    Report this comment

I don't think this is a teething issue, but more like a behavior/psychological issue. I haven't done a lot of research on it but should have given i had a dog who obsessively ate things for the first 5 or 6 years of his life. (i was lucky - no blockages and no surgery). i'll be very curious to see what you learn and share on this.

Posted by: llf | April 13, 2017 9:29 AM    Report this comment

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