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Help! My Dog Swallowed a Sock

dog laying on back chewing sock

Socks are one of the most common household items. Whether you hang them up for drying or kick them off after a long day, socks are always there. Dogs are curious creatures who love to eat new things even if they are harmful to them. Read through to find out what to do in case your dog swallows a sock.

Why Do Dogs Eat Socks?

The answer to this question is quite simple. Socks are easily accessible to dogs and can be mistaken for chew toys. The fact that dogs love to roll around in stinky stuff makes socks even more interesting for your canine companions. This is the reason why dogs generally end up eating dirty socks. Lastly, this bite-size clothing item makes a wonderful tug toy for your canine friend.

My Dog Ate a Sock Earlier

dog playing tug o war with sock

Sometimes, it happens that your dog eats a sock in your absence and you figure it out after a while. In these circumstances, the very first thing that you should do is to call your vet immediately. In a few hours, the sock may have reached your dog’s intestine. If that’s the case, vomiting will not be helpful in dislodging the sock.

Sometimes socks pass out without any problems but the narrow path of the intestine can cause an intestinal blockage. In such cases, an X-ray may be needed. A barium slug is used to get a clearer view of the intestines in the X-ray.

Frequent vomiting is a common symptom of intestinal blockage. Although endoscopy is an option, surgery could be the only method to remove the ingested sock (in extreme cases).

My Dog Ate a Baby Sock

colorful baby socks on a clothes line

A small sock usually causes fewer problems because it is more likely to pass through. Having said that, socks absorb moisture inside your dog and can swell up significantly. If your dog is big, small socks will pass through his/her gastrointestinal tract easily. Despite that, it is recommended to take your dog to a vet for proper monitoring.

On the other hand, small socks can cause a lot of problems for small dogs. Your vet may use an endoscope to do a visual inspection of the insides of your dog. If possible, a specialized endoscope is used to gently pull out the sock. Surgery should always be the last resort in such cases.

My Dog Ate a Big Sock

pair of mens feet wearing striped socks on hard wood floor

If your dog ate a big sock, the risks and potential problems can increase monumentally. Firstly, these socks are more likely to get stuck in the throat, causing your dog to choke badly. In some cases, the canine may be able to vomit, causing the sock to come out. On the contrary, the sock may remain stuck in the throat or go further down towards the stomach.

Your vet may also try to induce vomiting if the sock was ingested less than 2 hours ago. This is something that you can also do for yourself by using a 3 % hydrogen peroxide solution. However, it should always be the vet who decides whether vomiting should be induced or not.

Alternatively, salt can also be used for inducing vomiting. Always remember that you should NEVER do it on your own as it can result in salt poisoning.

Big socks can also press against the walls of the stomach or intestine, cutting off blood supply completely. This kills the natural tissues and creates necrotic tissues. As a last resort, open surgery is performed to extract the sock. Due to the cost and risks associated with these surgeries, vets try to avoid them as much as possible.

My Dog Ate a Sock and is Vomiting

dog with head poking from under orange blanket looking ill

If your dog is vomiting relentlessly, it is a clear indication of an obstruction inside your dog’s digestive system. This is definitely a medical emergency and you should rush your canine companion to a vet immediately.

Some other symptoms that indicate something is stuck inside your dog’s digestive system include:

  • Lethargy
  • Lack of appetite
  • Constipation
  • Dehydration

If your dog eats a sock, you should always call your vet or the pet poison control line at: (888) 426-4435

My Dog Ate a Sock and Can’t Poop

This is a surefire sign of intestinal blockage inside your dog. Contact your vet and follow his instructions. It is likely that he/she will instruct you to use laxatives to make the sock removal process easier.

In some cases, IV fluids are given to hydrate the intestines. This makes it easier to help your dog pass the sock out of its body. If all of these methods don’t work, an operation may be needed to remove the stuck sock.

My Dog Ate a Sock and Pooped it out

black and white dog laying down looking ill

Socks are indigestible for the most part. If they come out of your pet’s body, everything should be well. However, it is still advisable to take your dog to a vet for a checkup.

Socks are meant to hold their shape, and the digestive system of your canine is unable to break them down. Your dog is lucky if the sock passes through the gastrointestinal system because it eliminates the complications of a blockage.

The Sock is Out, Now What?

clothes basket full of clothes and socks with a few socks spilling onto floor

That is good news! Depending on the complexity of the sock removal process, your dog may have to stay with the vet. The dog may be given medication to help alleviate any further vomiting.

Learn from this experience and NEVER leave your socks in the open, again. No matter how many socks they’ve choked on, dogs will always be curious about socks.

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