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You have probably seen at least one video of a dog stealing a baby’s pacifier. A dog with a pacifier in its mouth is cute and makes us smile. But it can be dangerous.

This is the tale of Mortimer the 3-year old Bulldog. His family noticed that he was getting sick whenever it was time to eat. The vet prescribed a medicine to remedy the symptom. However, Mortimer did not get better.

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He eventually stopped eating entirely. His owner, Emily Shanahan, took him to Angell Animal Medical Center in Boston, where they X-rayed him. The staff was surprised when the X-ray revealed 19 pacifiers in the dog’s stomach. The theory is Mortimer had been taking the pacifiers from Shanahan’s two children over the period of several months.

A medical scope was used to remove the pacifiers so surgery was not required. Mortimer made a full recovery and is back at home.

Mortimer was lucky. Dogs swallowing foriegn bodies is a worry for dog owners. The outcome is not always as positive as it was for Mortimer. If you see your dog swallow a foriegn object contact your vet right away. The longer the object is present the more problematic the outcome. A ruptured gut and the resulting peritonitis will make for a much poorer prognosis.

Clinical signs an owner may observe vary significantly and depend on degree of obstruction, location, duration and type of foreign body.

Commonly noted signs include:
lethargy
loss of appetite
abdominal pain
dehydration
drooling
diarrhea (+/= blood)
increased respiratory rate (due to pain)

The important thing to remember is to contact your vet right away if you suspect your dog may have ingested a foreign body.  Keep track of small objects that might attract your dog’s curiosity.

Mortimer’s story source:  kiiitv

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