What Did My Dog Swallow?

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A couple nights ago, I awoke in the middle of the night to that one sound that no dog owner can ignore: that lurching sound of an impending vomit. I leapt out of bed and saw my younger dog, Woody, standing near my bed, trembling. He looked exactly like a toddler who woke up feeling crummy and sought out his mom so he could barf in front of her. Well, that’s exactly what he did do; he and my older dog Otto always sleep in the living room.

“Oh, puppy,” I said. “What happened?” I grabbed my phone and smashed buttons on it, trying to find the flashlight option through bleary eyes. I scanned the room with the light but couldn’t see any actual puddles of vomit, so I got up and walked him outside, in case he had to throw up some more. He walked out onto the lawn and peed, went to the outside water bucket and drank a little water, and then came back inside. No more trembling. He settled back onto the couch and I went back to bed.

dog curled up on couch
Sleeping “comfortably” after his vomit

In the morning, with clearer eyes, I found the vomit. It was, of course, on one of the only two rugs in the house, an antique Persian carpet runner in my bedroom. In the weak beam of my phone flashlight, I couldn’t differentiate between the pattern in the rug and the small (now mostly dried) puddle. There was some slimy stuff that was most certainly just digestive juices, bits of nearly digested kibble, and . . .  a blob of something. I used some paper towel to pick it up, examining the blob closely.

A mystery from the depths…of Woody

At first I thought it was a piece of bone or glass, but it was soft, with rounded edges. It was rubbery – if not actual rubber. I took it to the kitchen sink and rinsed it off. It was for sure a hunk of something rubbery and opaque. I could make out some molded edges.

If this happened two or more years ago, I wouldn’t have even blinked. Woody chewed up lots of things when he was a puppy and adolescent dog, and he vomited up everything that was indigestible, usually within a day or two. I had a few surprises – as when he vomited up a piece of something I hadn’t even known was missing – but mostly I was able to say, “Ah, that’s a piece of that old Kong toy,” or “Finally, that chunk of the flying disk he ruined.”

But this time? He hasn’t chewed up anything for ages and ages. I can’t even remember the last time he chewed up a toy or a forbidden item. And I don’t at all recall any toy that we have ever had that was this particular color, a sort of a slightly translucent, light root-beer-bottle brown.

Could this thing have been in there for months or years? Is that even possible? Perhaps, once upon a time, it was colorful and had sharp edges from being chewed up, and it has lost color and gained smooth edges from marinating in digestive juices for years?

This was the theory proposed by my husband, anyway. “What are you talking about, he never chews up anything anymore?” he asked me, incredulous. “He chews up his Squeak balls all the time!”

On the hunt for damaged toys

The mystery item is roughly the same shape as the hole in one of the dogs’ favorite Planet Dog Squeak balls, but it is about twice as thick (also the wrong color, and a bit translucent).

That is not exactly correct. Both of my dogs like to chew on their favorite toy, the Planet Dog Squeak Ball, like they are chewing bubblegum. The Squeak appears to be the perfect texture, or offers the perfect amount of resistance for their jaws. But I don’t think either dog is exactly bent on destroying the Squeak balls; they just chew the balls so much, that eventually, the balls crack and start to fall apart. And when they start to fall apart, then one of the dogs (usually Otto) will lay down with the ball and chew it up into bits. It’s a process that takes months, but that goes fast at the end.

To test my husband’s theory, I hunted around the property, looking for all the Squeak balls in various stages of repair. I did actually find one that had a missing chunk that was vaguely the same shape as the perplexing lump from Woody’s midnight misadventure. But, no: It wasn’t a credible match. The baffling item is about twice as thick as the “walls” of the Squeak.

So the mystery lives on. What is that thing? How long has it been in there? Where did it come from? Is there more in there? I might never know.

Dogs!!  

110 COMMENTS

      • As a retired teacher and pet parent, I can tell you that a person can be a great 24/7 supervisor, but stuff like this is still going to happen. My coonhound has insurance so I can rush him to the doctor when I feel the slightest anxiety. These 4 legged kids are something else. Hang in there, Nancy.

      • Rabies bait, in Canada at least, are little marked packages that are dropped from a government plane to vaccinate the wild raccoons, etc to prevent rabies. Our local woods are littered with them some years. I think the flavour is peanut butter and I frequently had to fish them out of my dogs’ mouths. Ugh!

  1. You are super lucky that Woody has not had any obstruction surgeries or you wouldn’t be writing these partially humours snippets. It’s not a funny matter and many a dog has not ended up as lucky as Woody.

    • You are correct. I have been extremely lucky, and don’t count on being lucky forever. I should have added that if he has any other symptom – difficulty pooping, objects or blood in his poop, lack of appetite, more vomiting, or even just any apparent discomfort – we will head to the vet for ultrasound and whatever else they might/can do. I *am* worried! I thought we were past all this!

    • True my parent had a dog play with a toy and he loved it and he chewed it up and a piece of it went down . He had a obstruction and they tried to operate and get it out he died on the table. Please be careful what you give your dogs and if any sign it is ready to get chewed up in little pieces get rid of it.

  2. Do you have any cherry or peach trees in your yard? It looks a lot like a hunk of congealed & harden sap from a cherry or peach tree. Is it hard or soft? The harden sap from those tree can make your dog sick. Most chew toys are made of rubber or synthetic material that stomach acids don’t act on. Do you have hard candy like cough drops in your home? That too could make your dog sick.

  3. “…eventually, the balls crack and start to fall apart. And when they start to fall apart, then one of the dogs (usually Otto) will lay down with the ball and chew it up into bits. It’s a process that takes months, but that goes fast at the end.”

    Sadly, “going fast at the end” might one day apply to one of the dogs. Letting a any animal chew on a damaged toy – with choking hazard sized pieces seems both careless and irresponsible.

    Yes, dog toys can be expensive to replace – but the cost is minimal compared to invasive surgery or the death of a beloved pet.

    Please, please let this be a warning heeded and a lesson learned. We love reading about how you care for all your furry charges. We look to you to set the standard on how to be the best pet parents we can be.

    • Yup, I do throw away the cracked Squeak balls whenever I find one that has gotten to that point. And I buy new ones fairly often. (Super happy that the price has dropped from $17 each to about $11, since The Company of Dogs bought Planet Dog some time ago. Same great product, better new price.)

      • Thank you for clarifying, Nancy! Seeing the darkened cracks in the toy picture and reading:

        “…when they start to fall apart, then one of the dogs (usually Otto) will lay down with the ball and chew it up into bits. It’s a process that takes months…”

        Was worried Otto was chewing on falling apart toys for months!

  4. I would be looking around the outside of your house to see if anything matches the color and texture of it. I’m not a vet but I just can’t imagine something remaining in a dogs stomach for months or years without giving him digestive distress at some point. Thankfully he vomited it up instead of having a very serious intestinal blockage requiring emergency surgery.

  5. A few months ago my friends daughter had to rush her pit bull to the emergency vet – he was throwing up and had severe diarrhea. What came up was bits and pieces of a pink rubbery substance, turns out it was from a RED Kong toy that she had thrown out 6 months before, 3/4s of it was there but what she didn’t realize was he swallowed the other 1/4 of it and for what ever reason many months later he threw it up. 3 days at the vet and $3000 later he is fine. Lesson – the toys are not indestructible!

    • Right! We dealt with Kong years ago when they said toys were “indestructible”. Our dachshund got very sick, do we went to vet who did surgery and the top part of the red Kong had gotten stuck behind his pancreas😩. Long story short, They do not advertise the Kong as being indestructible!! We were lucky even if it cost us several thousand dollars . We never found the rest of the Kong.

  6. The surgeon who removed a 2″ diameter knot of rope that was blocking our Berner’s small intestine informed us that she had once removed a small Kong that had been inside another dog’s stomach for over 6 months. Who knew?

  7. You think this article is funny.
    How could this person be employed as a writer with such a lax attitude about the safety of dogs.

    • There is no way this could be expressed a little more compassionable? I live in a place where my pittbull can get into trouble, nothing is 100% safe except a crate. I am not a fan of crates unless we are flying.

      • Yes, I understand that, but I bet if you saw your dog chewing something up that could do it harm if it swallowed it, you would take it away from it as soon as you saw it, especially a worn toy that was gradually having pieces chewed off of it.

        • I agree with you. The way you stated your opinion was harsh, you could have written the same thing in a kinder way. We are on the same page Diane.

      • Crates! I briefly crated my youngest when away from home because he and the oldest had had a few fights. Being retired, my absences from home were few and generally not more than 3 hours. The crate was a large wire one purchased from Tractor Supply. My young dog broke front welds and was able to squeeze through the gap. This could have been dangerous, as he could have been strangled if he attempted to squeeze thru a too small area and gotten trapped by the throat. Or if a collar caught on the broken welds. I think crates could pose hidden dangers because manufacturers probably design them for average situations and the extra strong and determined dog may defeat the design to his peril. I concluded that crates weren’t trustworthy enough for me to use.

        • my doberman ripped out the door of midwest large size crate. He was determined not to be crated.
          p.s. please, give author a break. She is worried for her dogs but this is a past accident situation. She has a right to be humorous about it. Cheers.

        • My pit-lab mix bent the bars in his crate and broke his canine tooth. He was OK in the beginning, but one day he just snapped and decided NO CRATE. He was rescued from Alamogordo Animal Control and flew from El Paso to NYC in a plastic carrier on a 15-hr journey. Fortunately, he was probably too bewildered to be wild, or he could’ve easily chewed his way out.

    • I think you should chew up your hostility and spit it out! I saw nothing of a “lax attitude about the safety of dogs” in this article.

      • I can see if a dog swallows something accidentally, or you don’t know about it, or it chewed something up once, but it seems they continually chewed the same toy up and were allowed to have them after the toys started deteriorating.
        “But I don’t think either dog is exactly bent on destroying the Squeak balls; they just chew the balls so much, that eventually, the balls crack and start to fall apart. And when they start to fall apart, then one of the dogs (usually Otto) will lay down with the ball and chew it up into bits. It’s a process that takes months, but that goes fast at the end.”
        The owner is aware of it and continues to let the dog chew it.

        • I agree Diane. If a dog chews off a piece any toy it should be thrown away. If the toy they chew up is too expensive to replace often, then another toy should be tried out. This is very scary to me. Absolutely nothing funny in this situation.

    • WOW! Get a grip Diane. You have to have a sense of humor in this life, especially if you have companion animals or kids for that matter. I’m not going to give a lengthy spiel about the wealth of knowledge Ms. Kerns has, anyone familiar with her articles is aware of her expertise, compassion and love for dogs. What I will say is that you would have to keep your dog in a crate 24/7 or on a leash constantly at your side to guarantee that it never gets into something that it shouldn’t. You must be one of those people who are blessed with never has bad things happening to good dogs.

      • I completely agree!! People have nothing else to do better than critique others must be perfect!! I refuse to ever crate a dog again. I did that years ago and ALWAYS felt guilty. Just like children, stuff happens! If life can’t be an adventure, why live?! Get a grip all you MISERABLE people!

    • Best not to judge others too harshly! Accidents happen and you are hanging on a few statements. If you are offended by her post then you should Opt-out receiving them and let the rest of us enjoy them.

    • Geeeeez, anyone with a DOG, who Loves their pet, and is SUPER conscientious, knows that it is impossible to avoid some mishaps and behaviors of dogs in particular. As a first-time dog Mom to my Pyrenees/Aussie mix, I watched her night and day, dog proofed every room, even the outside – and went as far as to anticipate any possible chewing items. I was a Hawk, and even with all that, my dog got into all sorts of odd things, which happens in an instant, and no one would be able to stop. Chewing up large pieces of wood, tearing up tennis balls, swallowing paper towel pieces with bacon drippings, chasing a quail and eating it all (so I thought, but found it later), grabbing and eating a plate of brownies or turkey drumstick off the table when company over – crazy stuff. It’s all FUNNY now, but at the time I freaked out, and had to call poison control, or take to emergency Vet. So, Kindly get a grip – I’d say that anyone on this website is more than CARING and Careful with their Dog – this after all, the WHOLE DOG JOURNAL, where all the publishers, editors, and US readers care deeply about their pet!

    • The article helped me face what maybe happening to my dog – with humor yet good advice. He is going to the vet for an abdominal check. Humor lowers anxiety. Obviously the author is a concerned pet person.

  8. Wow, some pretty hostile responses to this one!
    Oh well, guess everyone has their hot buttons.
    I want to say, I loved seeing the sheet over the sofa in some of the photos! It comforts me to know that other people in this world live with their sofas and chairs covered with sheets or towels because of their beloved (yet gritty) pooches! Thanks Nancy!

    • Wish I could put sheets or towels over my furniture, but my dog chews on them, too. Hoping she will grow out of this stage.

  9. When my Golden Retriever was 6months old, he was trying to get me to chase him while he had a rock/stone in his mouth. I refused to play and while he was running around me he accidentally swallowed it. I watched for 2 weeks for it to come out and it never did. We were getting ready to go on a camping trip with him and he happened to have a vet appt a couple of days prior to leaving. I mentioned the rock, he immediately was sent in for an X-ray which clearly showed the rock settled in his stomach with his stomach totally inflamed around it. He was showing no signs of having a problem but I was told if they didn’t get him into surgery in the next couple days his stomach would eventually rupture and he would die. I had no idea any of this was even possible and thought he would show some kind of sign of being sick. Surgery was a success and needless to say that camping trip was cancelled.

  10. I had a similar situation with my dog Sebastian. I had noticed that he had started eating more slowly and seemed generally a little off. Long story short, a trip to the vet showed a mass in his spleen, which was removed. They also found a grapefruit-sized object in his stomach made of some type of material (evidently the reason he was eating slowly as his stomach was full of this thing). I took it home and rinsed it well in the bathtub and even on close examination, could absolutely not identify it. The material print was of nothing I’d ever owned, nothing was missing in the house, Sebastian had not been anywhere without me, and we had a securely fenced yard. He was also well into his mature years and no longer ate non-food items. It remains a mystery to this day. If only dogs could talk!

  11. Will add to the comment about items staying in the gut for months. Many many yeas ago, we used to let our first dogs eat the tip of a corn cob off after we had finished it…that buttery taste!….we would hold it in our fists so that they couldn’t get too much as we had found out that that wasn’t a good idea! It was a much beloved ritual until Gracie threw up a couple undigested so we stopped. Then about 6 months later ( I know, because we only eat corn on the cob in season, and this was mid Winter) exactly the scenario you described happened, including that sound of something coming up from the depths and an unfindable object on a Persian carpet in the middle of the night. In the morning it was revealed to be a shrunken piece of corn cob end with tiny perfect hardened almost crystalline kernels still in it.
    You do a wonderful job for all of us!! thanks for writing!!

  12. I’m sorry for the hostile responses. I sometimes don’t understand how people who are so kind to animals can be so unkind to humans. Please keep sharing in your humorous style; these are the things life is made of.
    I once had a lab who ate a tube of icing, she chewed up bits of plastic and spit them out. She had no symptoms of obstruction, or even illness from the icing. About a year later she threw up and out came some larger pieces of the icing tube that I didn’t realize were missing. We were so lucky.

    • Looks like a dental device we sometimes put in on side of the mouth to prop the mouth open. Website with picture below. Not sure how your dog would have gotten one though.

  13. Nancy, you have more dog knowledge and compassion then anyone I’ve ever met. I’ve read your articles for probably 15 years now. I get you. I love your writing style! Your positive nature shines through. Many situations you write about transpire in my house too and I see the humor in our shared experiences and reactions. I’m a better dog owner from your stories. Thank you! 🙂

    • I agree with you June. Nancy didn’t have to share this story at all. Instead, she exposed her belly and showed her venerability . The article for me (I had a Dachshund who swallowed a piece of a Nylabone and was overnighted at an emergency vet with pancreatitis ) is a reminder that it can happen to anyone. Who hasn’t been walking their dog only to look down to see them eating and swallowing something they found before you can get it out of their mouth. (This does’t only happen if someone is looking at their phone vs where they’re walking). Then comes the worry that something may happen and one may find themselves driving to the vet in the middle of the night.

      Thanks Nancy

      • We have an English Lab/Mastiff mix who is a master at scarfing up things (usually other dog’ poop) on walks. We both watch him like hawks, but sometimes…
        He doesn’t do that in the house. I’m a weaver and worried about stray bits of yarn, but he doesn’t even pay attention to the loom and it’s surroundings. He doesn’t do toys, so there’s no chance there.

  14. Glad Woody is ok … but what is that thing? ? Looks like some kind of soft plastic … seal? cushioned liner for some mechanical thingy? Wild guesses but that’s because it really doesn’t look like part of a toy to me.

  15. No matter how hard you watch your dogs, they can sometimes grab stuff to eat even when you’re attached to them by leash. A quickly snatched cicada is my dog’s current obsession…she likes how they buzz in her mouth. Or a giant dragonfly with flapping wings. Try getting her to drop them. While we lived on a dairy farm, my Staffordshire Terrier exhibited the same symptoms as your dog. He went upstairs to my son’s room and eventually vomited up a leg from a stillborn calf (which the farmer hadn’t disposed of yet). On a camping trip he found a decomposed carcass, ate it and threw it up in the cup holder of our truck as he was getting in the cab. Dogs are icky poo and eat junk food. We all do the best we can, and must sometimes clean up the aftermath or pay a fortune in vet bills.

  16. 3 years ago my dog had a similar looking rubber obstruction problem and fortunately lived. He had a tooth cleaning at the vet’s and for the next few days would eat but always throw up later and had no pooping. Had to see emergency vet and IV fluids ultrasound eventual abdominal surgery. The instruction looked like a dental mouth prop a Bite block.

    • Yikes! Mistakes can be made anywhere there are humans (or dogs!) involved. I hope you connected with the vet who did the dental procedure, so, in case it really was a dental bite block, they could be more vigilant in the future!

  17. During my years at the Folsom Zoo, I had to finally accept that non-digestible toys could not be given to any of the zoo animals. Unfortunately, it took several emergency surgeries before I learned this hard lesson. Years after the “no toys rule”, one of our mountain lions became ill. Finally, he had exploratory surgery, where the vet found a small triangle of tennis ball lodged in his duodenum. Many months prior, he had gotten the ball tip of a target training tool by snagging it through the fence. When retrieved, it was thought the entire ball (now in jibbles) was accounted for. The missing piece nearly killed him. It took many weeks to recover from the illness and the surgery. So I know foreign objects can stay in the gut for a long time with no symptoms, then suddenly start causing a problem. The lucky ones are able to vomit.

  18. Glad your furbaby is doing well. I never leave my furbabies alone toys. I make sure no hair ties are are the floor. When one of my furbabies was a puppy he tore a toy apart. I heard the squeaker making a weird noise. When I went to the room he had part of the squeaker and arm in his mouth. I was so worried I just took everything out before he tore everything else up or swallowed it. So now they don’t play without supervision.

  19. Hi Nancy – I love your articles and totally understand your perspective. I am not familiar with those balls, but it looks a little “foamlike”. Have you tried the Chuck It Max Glow Balls? They are soft rubbery like hollow balls for a Chuck It. My dog LOVES it. It is his favorite ball to chase and chew on. While he has multiples around, in 3 years, not a single one has ever disintegrated and they are around $6/piece on Amazon. Give one a try.

    • I thought it looked a little like the end of a soft chew bone made by the Nylabone folks (I think they’re called Gummabones). They’re rubbery, brownish, and translucent. If there’s any way Woody could have gotten hold of one that could be what it is.

  20. Because the edges are so smooth, it doesn’t seem like it is a chewed off part of a toy. It is a mystery, but since your property is large and you haven’t been there forever, perhaps it is something that was lurking in the underbrush, or encountered on an outing. Also, if you have neighbors, kids can lose something over the fence without being aware of the possible consequences. Woody has the cutest sleeping position.

  21. The object looks like a fragment of one of the dental chews produced for dogs called “Greenies”. It might be possible
    for such an item to be over-molded/heated or have contaminated ingredients that rendered it hard and indigestible.
    It might be something given at the vet’s office during a visit. My vet has them for “treats”………

  22. I’m a veterinarian. A colleague and I once performed exploratory abdominal surgery on a French Bulldog that had been having chronic GI issues for several months. We found about a foot of rotten, stringy pull toy in his small intestine. The owner had had the dog only about six months, having adopted him from a rescue. She promised us that she had never given him any kind of toy or chewie like that since he lived with her. He survived the surgery, but lost about 18” of intestine. So….yes: I think foreign objects can be stay in the GI tract for several months!

  23. Several years ago my male dog started vomiting. He vomited every hour on the hour, it seemed, starting at 6:00 am on a Sunday morning, and obviously wasn’t felling well. Of course this was a weekend, I was broke, and the emergency vet was very busy (and this is a dog with behavioral issues who is very difficult at the vet). I decided to take him to my regular vet the next day instead of waiting at the emergency vet. He continued vomiting every hour for the rest of the day. Exactly 24hours after the vomiting started, he vomited up about a two inch long by 3/4 inch thick piece of a braided fleece dog toy that had been destroyed months earlier and I had thrown all the pieces I could find away. I hadn’t seen a piece of that toy in months so I assume it had been in his stomach for at least a few months and he had shown no signs of feeling ill in all that time. I showed the vet and he said, “you are really lucky he brought that up on his own, otherwise you would have been paying for surgery.”

    Another time my female puppy ran up a steep hill in my mom’s yard and when I went up to get her, I found her furiously gobbling some sort of spiny berry that had fallen from the tree. Of course she vomited soon after and, being a new dog owner, I was convinced the berries must have been toxic and rushed her to the emergency vet (the day after Christmas!). My puppy was fine but the vet told me that one time he saw a dog who wasn’t eating. No vomiting or diarrhea. The dogs stomach felt full and the dog didn’t seem in distress so he sent him home with orders for the owner to keep an eye on him. Next day owner brought the dog back for lethargy and still not eating. vet did an x-ray, stomach looked full. Decided to operate and ended up pulling out what looked like a plaster cast of the inside of the dog’s stomach. Showed it to dog’s owner and said, “what is this? I’ve never seen anything like it!” He said the owner took one look and said, “Oh, the dog got in the garage and I found a chewed up can of spray insulation but I didn’t think anything of it. He must have swallowed the spray foam insulation.” Vet said that was the weirdest thing he ever pulled out of a dog’s stomach.

    Dogs swallow weird things.

  24. In my mind’s eye, and maybe I’m crazy, but it almost looks like a rubber heel off a shoe of some sort. I have a cutie who eats worms, rocks, mulch, dirt, and yes, poop! Gross!! She also picked up a dead, I’ll say locust and started to happily chow down. So dogs are scavengers and learning to live with it. If they had human intelligence maybe they think twice.

  25. I too thought of a rubber heel.

    One thing I found out a while ago (within the last 12 yrs) is the Kong toys are now made with a reactive dye so pieces show up on x-ray. Other brands might do so now.

  26. Some years ago my dog started vomiting up small 1 inch brown squares. about10 or 12. Then she pooped out 2 or 3 more. We could not figure out what it was until I noticed my husband’s belt buckle on the coffee table. She had eaten the whole belt.

  27. As a vet tech, I have assisted in numerous surgeries to remove items causing an intestinal blockage. Some items will remain for long periods in the stomach for long periods of time, and others get blocked in the small intestine. When the get blocked the blood supply to that area gets cut off causing that area of intestine to die. Then the contents of the intestine (along with the intestinal bacteria) get released into the body cavity. Your dog will then become septic and probably will die shortly afterwards. Please don’t wait for your dog to vomit up a foreign object. If you suspect your dog has ingested a foreign object, please take them immediately to the veterinarian. A sure sign is if they continue to vomit and are not passing any stool. By the way, your foreign object looks like some sort of rubber stopper.

  28. Oh, and a parting note. When it comes to dogs, there is no accounting for taste. Obviously they are not always discriminating about what they ingest.

  29. Looks like a half a greenish baked stuffed pepper. Food for thought…..,or a mushroom blob. I take mushroom spore prints, as I think they’re beautiful and forgot a dried up mushroom in the bottom of s basket from my Maine gathering days, but sweet GSD Montana ate a dry one. Off to ER just in case. Mostly he’s an opportunist. Never destructive. I never leave house without putting garbage out of reach, closing bedroom doors because of meds, closing off the pantry where I store food. Woof. Try to think like my dogs. Love him at all times. Jean

  30. Hi,
    I think it looks like a shoe insert, just the heel part. I also at first glance thought it was upper dentures.
    When my rescue dog was a puppy he got under my bed and pulled the lining down under my box springs. He is 8 years old now. I discovered pieces of material hanging down when we moved when he was 1yr. old. If he ate any, he has never showed ill effects. He does have sensitive skin and allergies that developed when he was around 4 years old. We chalked it up to the hoove chews we gave him from China. Any comments?

  31. When I rescued my mini Aussie she was on medication from having swallowed a squeaker she chewed out of a toy. Fortunately the rescue had been able to remove the squeaker with out surgery but the pup had a residual cough and irritated throat which required medication. To this day she is a fierce chewer who will eat almost anything.. She is particularly fond of paper products which thankfully are dissolved by her stomach acids. She also eats rocks but thus far only those small enough to be passed. She’s never outside without me so I can watch to make sure she doesn’t swallow anything too large to be passed. But dogs are fast enough to fool any human, even a watchful one.

  32. To me it looks like a surgical prosthetic disc that goes in between the metal parts of a hip or knee replacement to cushion impact. Have you gone around your neighborhood to see if any of your neighbors are missing a hip or knee replacement? (The thread got so serious I couldn’t help but throw in a little levity 😉

      • My Pleasure…glad to provide days of laughter. I have goed role models…over the years all my dogs have provided unless laughter and delight! –Michael, aka Cody’s Doggie Dad

  33. I feel for you and Otto. I had a similar mystery with my then 10 year old golden, Twizzler. We live in Atlanta where any snowfall is a major event, but during “Snowmagedon” we were all happy to be safe and warm at home…until. Twizz started pacing in relentless, unnerving circles. I was freaked out, took a video and sent it to my vet. She diagnosed it as old dog vestibular disease, most likely brought on by a very sudden and severe drop in barometric pressure. She suggested motion sickness OTC med–Bonine. I had none and this was not the time to head out to the store, so we compromised by putting a sea sick patch on his inner thigh. While waiting for it to have effect, I let him out doors ahead of the oncoming blizzard. He was still circling like a crazy dog, until he stopped on the deck and barfed up …I wasn’t sure. There was a lot of slime and bile, but a large lump in the middle. Out came the tongs and rubber gloves for extraction, rinsing and analysis. it was gray and nubbly and had been degrading, but I could not figure it out. He was LONG past chewing anything and nothing was a miss or missing. Then I remembered! I had a low country boil for my husband’s birthday—4 months earlier. The ears of corn were broken into 2 inch pieces. One of our easily amused guests was enjoying letting Twizzler eat corn on the cob with his front teeth! Just like a person! Wow! But not so wow! when Twizz grabbed the whole cob and swallowed it! For weeks I fed him pumpkin and fiber, searching my yard clean ups to see if it had passed. i was also watching him like a hawk for bowel obstruction. The final explanation from my vet; the weather brought on the manic circles, the circles cause made him dizzier and nauseous to the point of vomiting and up came the degraded corn cob that was sitting in his stomach for 4 months. Crazy, right?

  34. I agree – it looks like something from outside; maybe a gasket for a piece of machinery. The color is strange but if a Kong can turn pink in a dog’s tummy, maybe that’s not the original color. The shape reminds me of something, a bite plate? Looks too small in the second photo. Good luck!

  35. Ugh, dogs and swallowing not-food items! I have a 9yr old cocker who was a rescue, went to someone else for 6 mo, she decided not to keep her, I took her. Dog was 30!! pounds and had been eating 6 cups of white rice a day “because she won’t eat anything else.” I put her on a kibble and green bean diet, she lost 10 pounds, and was doing pretty well – more energy, playing, her knees seemed better. One day I’m picking up poop, and say to myself, Who’s is this? It’s hard as rock. I’m squishing it, and sure enough, it WAS a rock, covered in poo. So I watch the next morning and notice it’s the rescued dog, pooping small Rocks!

    I freak out and call the vets office, where everyone freaks out as well. Bring her in immediately! So I do, the vet examines her, and we can hear rocks rubbing together in her belly! immediate surgery, 52 smallish rocks removed!! Well, I have rocks around in my yard, but not one of those 52 matched anything in my yard. So they had to have been in her belly for at least the 6 months she’d been with me. Now I watch her like a hawk, she’s not allowed outside except with close supervision.

    And I have another one who eats paper, anything, any kind of paper….. ugh.

  36. I feel like you have been picking thru my dogs leftovers! My one dog pooped this very similar object months ago….
    The ONLY thing I came up with is those rubbery Nylabones… it’s a rubbery texture as gross as it was I washed it w gloves on and short of microscope…
    Looked it over and bent it …
    Then I went in toy box and thru all their goodies and they have not had one of those in YEARS so I figured on 1st dog maybe it was something he got 2yrs prior to me adopting that got ‘stuck’ along the way and finally worked it’s way out…. then….
    my OTHER did the same! Even took by my local vet to just ask their thoughts….
    No one had a clue….
    Until i got then new Benebones and read he package… so for my 2….
    I THINK it’s from their Benabones- it’s made to be somewhat edible meaning if they eat a piece or 2…. but I think once inside the stomach juices it softens as its supposed to…. that is the only toy they have had and I am a hawk with anything they have…

    Hope you get your answer to what it is and maybe my clue helped 🙂

    • I was just going to message you and ask if it was a Benebone. We received 2 as gifts but they only come out under supervision. I think it looks like it. I also thought about the nylabone too.
      We had a Weim that swallowed a piece of a rubber toy in under 5 minutes and was under very close supervision…the toy was in his belly 30 days before we knew (we even pieced it back together and thought all the pieces were there). Well it was a hard lesson but we were lucky but felt horrible when we picked him up and saw all of the staples he had to get. Glad this passed from your baby!

  37. Was interesting to read all the things dogs have eaten and how long they can remain in the stomach. Hope Nancy lets us know what that mystery object is if she ever figures it out.

  38. My guess was nylabone also! I guess some people live in a perfect world where accidents don’t happen with their pets. I have had a towel eater which led to surgery. The second time she was too old for surgery and she lived on cod liver oil to try (and hope) to pass it. Luckily it did. She also ate all my cash from my desk. I was relieved to find it in her poop as opposed to thinking someone had been in the house. Once, I had to pull a raw hide from her butt when she swallowed it whole so I couldn’t take it from her when I was worried she would swallow it.. Another dog who ransacked a brand new cat food bag and ate half of it before I caught her. She also got her head stuck in the flip top garbage can and came to me to get the thing off her head. Then there’s the stolen chocolate cupcakes off of the counter or the tri-tip running through the house to avoid capture! With the talk of crates for containment I tried a wire crate with my current rescue who proceeded to trash the crate wires, push the crate tray out of the crate, grab onto the living room carpet and pull 1/2 of the carpet into the crate with her and no soft toy is safe with her. She has to be in a heavy vari-kennel with a cheesed up kong toy for entertainment or her panic attacks kick in. Stuff happens with dogs no matter how vigilant we try to be.

  39. At a guess, I’d say something made of silicon rubber,, Something like brake pads or pedal pads, maybe dropped of a passing vehicle? Or some thid to stop virbationd that dell of something in your hose yard>>

  40. Just had DH look at it with me, and we saw the ‘warty’ top. It look like a ‘heel’ fallen of a boot or walking shoe

  41. My older dog LOVES to chomp on those Squeak balls also. I periodically check them by squeezing the balls to see if they are starting to break- the rubber kind of starts to break down and you can see little cracks.

  42. When my collie puppy, Gillie, was about 6 months old I found her with what remained of a 12 inch, brittle plastic rain gauge, the kind that you stick in the ground. I tried to piece the remaining shards together to determine how much she had actually swallowed and it wasn’t looking very good. We had a second rain gauge still in one piece to compare and it seemed there were many, many pieces missing. I followed her around the yard for the next week and only was able to identify one small piece that manage to pass through the other end. I am convinced the rest of the plastic is still sitting in her stomach. Where else could it have gone? That was 2 years ago!

  43. Hi, It is possible that it was lodged inside for years. I’ve had members in my group where the dog has vomited up socks etc months later

  44. It looks like a piece off of a rubber sole on a boot or work boot. I have even seen them with that same color and shape. Best of luck!

  45. Whenever a toy starts looking worn, out it goes! Dealing with a Lab puppy, 10 months old right now, and frankly it is not fun. Bad energy mismatch. I watch him like a hawk.
    I run on the paranoid side and always patrol the house for anything on the floor or within reach to avoid any disasters. He is a typical puppy with shoes! Fortunately he loves his crate and always wants to be with us so supervision in the house is ok. Outside I always supervise. So far so good.

  46. Nancy, you have to have a thick skin to expose yourself to all these experts and their opinions!
    People are so judgemental when it isn’t their pet that is involved. Any pet owner has experienced something of an unknown origin coming ” out of their animal”. Yes, they are animals – not humans!
    I enjoy your articles and keep watching for any info on living with an older deaf dog. I would like some ideas on how to communicate better.

  47. Thank you so much for sharing. We’re picking up a six month old rescue dog (golden retriever male) tomorrow that will be companion not only to us but to our 18 month old female golden. This article has prompted me to review all the toys and possible hazards again — and then again. The nick name for the female golden is the “shredder”. No piece of paper is safe in our house unless put away. I just bought a benebone for her and she loves it. After a week — no missing pieces — just lots of chew marks. I love this publication. Keep up the good work.

  48. Years ago we were called outside before clearing the dinner table. My cocker managed to push a chair out far enough to climb up and get to the remains of a pork roast, bone and all. Didn’t take long for the bad effects to show up and it was a weekend sohad to take her to the Emergency Vet. No surgery but IV’s to help dissolve the bone. We had a place to hang the IV bag so she only stayed overnight (many $$$) and we slept on the couch with her for about a week, it took two people to take her out, one to carry the IV and one to take the dog. Needless to say, was a very expensive lesson and no food has been left on the table since. Thanks Nancy for sharing and anyone who has dogs should know that things happen, love my dogs but they are sneaky.

  49. Please forgive me if someone suggested this already. It looks like it could be a piece of Gorilla Glue. This is an extremely strong adhesive product that “glues” or seals wood together by expanding. And it is rubbery in texture after it “dries”. If an animal gets it in their mouth, chews & swallows it – even a small piece – it expands. If a dog gets enough of it in their stomach, etc, it will expand & potentially block or rupture the stomach or esophagus or intestines. Please consider this. The picture – to me – like it could be Gorilla Glue. This is a very popular product used in all kinds of home repairs and building projects.

  50. Dogs will get things they should not, no matter how careful one is! I’m glad he vomited it up!
    What caught my attention was that there was KIBBLE in that vomit!
    Please tell me you do not feed kibble still!?!?

  51. Hi, I have a similar experience like Kel and Lisa above.
    My dogs got greenies in the past – until they started to vomit rubbery green pieces- weeks after ingestion. Not anymore.

  52. The piece is a hoof .my lab had eaten a calves hoof 2 weeks before I got her.One day she got real lethargic and wouldn’t eat and just laid around.I had to get my lab spayed which was part of the ownership agreement..Any how.My vet was doing her surgery and she told me unannounced yet my lab had a lump in her intestines, so by the grace of God, my vet found it along with the surgery procedure and took it out of there.My vet said it was probably in their for a month…My poor lab never showed any pain just was lethargic..Sooooo
    Anyway y’all no hooves for my dog ever again.It was 2x2x2 size..Poor Mila..she. Recooperated good..
    Yes, it was hooves she ate!!

  53. My Rottie ate her collar. ‘D’ ring and all.
    When I got home, the only thing I found was her tag.
    I thought I misplaced the collar.
    A few days later, up came the collar, ‘D’ ring and all.
    I learned.
    No more collars when in the house.
    They are put on for walks and taken off once back home.

  54. I adopted two Pit/mix brother & sister…from day one I knew the male would eat anything that would kill him!
    I had a few scares before I came to the realization he could never be trusted…
    He and his sister sleep in an open pen (like a child’s play pen) which is heavy strong metal and white in color….making it quite nice looking as well.
    I am fortunate that they love their “den” and ask to go to bed when they are tired.
    My biggest problem?
    When we go to a dog park, people leave their dogs chewed up tennis balls behind when they leave!
    Their dogs may not swallow the chewed up pieces but other dogs Do!
    Please…If you see chewed up tennis balls at the park, please dispose of them for the safety of all our dogs.

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