Features December 2009 Issue

Canine Health News and Current Events December 2009

My dog Ella and I spent an anxious night at the emergency clinic recently, after she found and ate paintballs while on our walk. She was off-lead at the time, so when I realized what she was doing, I had no way of knowing how many she had eaten. In fact, I did not immediately recognize the colorful, marble-sized gelatinous balls, and thought they were some kind of candy. It was only a few hours later, when she threw up bright turquoise, that I became concerned and investigated further. Paintballs ingredients can include polyethylene glycol, dipropylene glycol, glycerol, and sorbitol, all osmotic laxatives, which can lead to hypernatremia (“salt poisoning”) when ingested in sufficient quantity. These ingredients also taste sweet, which is why dogs find paintballs so attractive.

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