Broken Toys: Why You Should Get Rid of Them ASAP

Currently Nix is taking medication. Again. The whole thing started about a couple of weeks ago, when she threw up various times on different days. The curious thing was that she wasn’t vomiting immediately after eating nor was she vomiting whole amounts of food. It was either bilis or a little bit of food, and maybe once a day. Plus, her stool was fine, so it didn’t seem like she had a stomach bug. However, when the vomiting  had happened for several days, we thought it was time to book an appointment with the vet.

A daily scene at the park. She always ends up taking a pine cone or a branch and carries it around.

I remember thinking and telling the vet that I actually thought I was going there to reassure myself that everthing was fine, rather than because of Nix. However, it seems that there was indeed something going on. The vet checked her and told me that she could have some kind of foreign object in her stomach that made her feel naseous or a stomach ulcer. He decided to prescribe her some Metoclopramide for a couple of days to prevent the nausea and the vomiting.

Chewing a stick.

It turned out that in the previous days we had noticed that Nix was rather enjoying destroying her Kong Squeaker chew bone. She loves chewing things and the bone was no exception. Because of this, it had been progressively deteriorating and we had reached a point where instead of chewing it she pulled it to tear it apart.

We were pretty sure that she was not eating the bone’s rubber (hey, she’s a smart dog, why should she eat it?); however, we didn’t seem to find as much bone rubber on the floor as we expected. This is a pure subjective impression, so we may be wrong and the problem may be caused by something else, but why take the risk? It’s certainly not worth it. We’ve now learnt the lesson: do not trust your dog with broken toys, even if it seems that he doesn’t eat them. He may not usually do so, but if he’s hungry, stressed, or who knows what, he may change his behaviour.

As you can see in the picture, the Kong Squeaker chew bone was in pretty bad shape.
You can clearly see the rubber missing in the bone.

Please note that even if Nix has eaten some of the rubber of her toy, it cannot be a very big piece, as she usually broke it in tiny bits. So, what I find strange is that she hasn’t thrown up any of it or evacuated it through her stool.

As I was taking the pictures, Nix decided she’d better control her toy.
Looking cute…

In any case, though, we finally threw the toy away,  just to be safe.

The story continues

The medication worked and Nix was fine for a couple of days. However, when she stopped taking it, she threw up again in the evening. We went to the vet the next day and this time he did an X-Ray (after warning me that he’d probably see nothing, which was exactly the case) and he prescribed again Metoclopramide and some Ranitidine. Ranitide is a medication used to treat stomach ulcers and gastroesophageal reflux disease.

Both worked great and the vomiting stopped. After four days, we called the vet and we stopped giving Nix Metoclopramide and kept with the Ranitidine for another week. We’ve still one day left to go, and from there we’ll see what happens.

I’ll keep you posted.

What about you? What are your experiences?

So, what are your experiences with stomach ulcers in dogs? And with object-eating behaviours? I’ve no experience with either. However, from what I’ve heard, usually dogs threw up the object they’ve eaten in  three or four days, and almost always the owners notice that the dog is more subdued and that something is clearly wrong with them. We didn’t notice any of this with Nix.

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