What do you do if your puppy (or mischievous older dog) gets into your holiday decorations and eats some of the glass ornaments? This potentially lethal mishap can darken even the brightest holiday season.
THE PROCEDURE: Before the holiday is to go to a pharmacy and buy a box of cotton balls. Be sure that you get cotton balls not the "cosmetic puffs" that are made from man-made fibers. Also, buy a quart of half-and-half coffee cream and put it in the freezer. Should your dog eat glass ornaments, defrost the half-and-half and pour some in a bowl. (Chicken broth is another suggestion for dipping.) Dip cotton balls into the cream and feed them to your dog.
Dogs under 10 lbs should eat 2 balls, which you have first torn into smaller pieces. Dogs 10-50 lbs-should eat 3-5 balls, and larger dogs should eat 5-7. You may feed larger dogs an entire cotton ball at once. Dogs seem to really like these strange "treats" and eat them readily.
As the cotton works its way through the digestive tract it will find all the glass pieces and wrap itself around them. Even the teeniest shards of glass will be caught and wrapped in the cotton fibers and the cotton will protect the intestines from damage by the glass. Your dog's stools will be weird for a few days and you will have to be careful to check for fresh blood or a tarry appearance to the stool. If either of the latter symptoms appear you should rush your dog to the vet for a checkup but in most cases, the dogs will be just fine.
An actual experience: I can personally vouch for the cotton ball treatment. While I was at the vet waiting for him to return from lunch a terrified woman ran in with a litter of puppies who had demolished a wooden crate along with large open staples. The young vet had taken x-rays, which did show each of the puppies had swallowed several open staples. He was preparing them for surgery when my wonderful vet came in and said no surgery. I watched him wet several cotton bails, squeeze out the water and pop them down their throats. Within 24 hours every staple was accounted for. This was a lesson I learned in the mid-1960s and have had to use several times on my brats. I wet the cotton bails and smear on some liverwurst and they bolt it down and ask for more. The cotton always comes out with the object safely embedded.
Copyright reserved to Sandy Brock.
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