What to do when the puppy eats everything

Our family is the proud owner of an 8 month old puppy who, like most young dogs, seems to love everything. The puppy got caught in a hair tie once and swallowed socks twice. I have learned from previous experience that if a dog swallows something inappropriate, oral hydrogen peroxide can make it vomit fairly quickly. The second time the dog ate a sock two days ago and he didn’t throw up, so hopefully he’s fine. Can you say something about it and how much can you give?

The other question I have is how toxic is a bullfrog to a dog, especially if it swallows the frog. My son called me the other day when he freaked out and swore he saw the dog with a bullfrog in its mouth but wasn’t sure he ate it. The dog seems fine so hopefully nothing will develop anymore.

It is very common for dogs to eat all sorts of things around the house, and socks are a common food item. A sock can get stuck in the stomach or intestines and will require abdominal surgery to remove it if either vomiting is induced or if removal with an endoscope is unsuccessful.

If your dog is ingesting something that is safe to vomit unless it is sharp or corrosive, 3% hydrogen peroxide is safe to use. Published doses vary from one teaspoon per 10 pounds of body weight to one teaspoon per 5 pounds of body weight, but I prefer one teaspoon per 10 pounds. Don’t exceed 3 tablespoons, even if a dog weighs over 50 pounds. You can start with a low dose and repeat once or twice to make the dog vomit, but no more.

If you are certain that the dog has swallowed the object and it does not show up, a veterinary examination is warranted. Are you sure the puppy has eaten the second sock? If it does and it didn’t come up or out, let the puppy see. Most importantly, all family members should be careful of what is lying around that the dog may ingest.

As for the bullfrog, some frogs and toads can be very poisonous to dogs. Toads tend to be more at risk than frogs because they secrete more toxins. If the dog has eaten a poisonous amphibian, there may have been foaming in the mouth, vomiting, neurological manifestations such as seizures or paralysis, and more. If your pup is fine, my guess is that he didn’t eat the frog or, thankfully, it was a non-toxic species. If a dog has such an animal in its mouth, it is always advisable to rinse the mouth with fresh water and to be careful that the dog does not swallow the water used. Hopefully your puppy will stop mouthing everything soon, but for now there are a few more safe things you should be mouthing about.

Dr. John de Jong owns and operates the Boston Mobile Veterinary Clinic. He can be reached at 781-899-9994.

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