Three Steps To Dealing With A Foreign Body In Your Dog

17 October 2022
 Categories: , Blog


If you suspect that your dog has consumed something that it won't be able to pass, it's important to take action quickly. In this scenario, the object can potentially lead to a digestive system blockage, which could be fatal for your pet. Common foreign bodies include rocks, children's toys, and other items that are small enough for a dog to swallow but large enough to be difficult to pass. Contact your local animal hospital if you believe there's a foreign body inside your dog. You can expect that the veterinarian will deal with the situation in these three ways.

Physical Assessment

A lot of veterinarians will begin the process of dealing with a foreign body inside of your dog by performing a physical assessment of the animal. Because foreign bodies become lodged in dogs' digestive systems, the vet will know where on the animal to touch. With the right placement of their hands, they'll often be able to detect the presence of the foreign body through the animal's skin. This will help them to understand its exact position, which can influence the urgency of the situation, as well as the foreign body's size.


You can also expect that the veterinarian will perform a scan to help learn more about the foreign body. An ultrasound or X-ray will further show the vet the position of the item, as well as provide valuable information about its size and shape. Animal hospitals typically have ultrasound and X-ray equipment on site, so the veterinarian will request the help of a trained technician to perform this scan during your visit. The information that the vet learns from the scan will prepare them for the next step.


In most cases, surgery on your dog will be necessary to properly deal with a foreign body. While some animal surgeries are scheduled months in advance, this type of surgery is of the emergency variety. This means that because the foreign body presents an imminent threat to your pet's health, the veterinarian will likely perform the surgery on the same day of your visit to the animal hospital. Upon going through a successful surgery, your dog should likely have a good prognosis for a full recovery. If your dog has consumed a foreign body, it's important to react immediately to this serious health situation. Visit a local animal hospital like Apple Valley Animal Hospital to ensure that your dog gets the treatment it needs.