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My Dog Ate a Pen

chewed cap of a disposable ink pen on a white background

Dogs are known to eat the weirdest things they can find. This can be socks, pencils, toys, and pretty much anything you can see around the house. Dogs will try to eat anything they can find, and sometimes this can lead to serious health problems. If you think your dog ate a pen, read on to find out what to do about it.

My Dog Ate a Plastic Pen

If your dog is looking restless around your table and your pen(s) missing, your pup might have gobbled it up. Fortunately, the chances of poisoning are extremely low because most of the pens have non-toxic inks. However, the danger is still there as the plastic body of the pen can be troublesome for your pet.

Why Plastic Pen is Dangerous for Dogs?

3 ink pens on a white background'

This is a critical situation because the plastic of the pen can get lodged in your dog’s body.  It can result in several different complications, ranging from gastrointestinal issues to bowel obstruction. This is the reason why the consumption of plastic is regarded as incredibly hazardous for canines.

Why Do Dogs Eat Plastic?

variety of plastic and metal ink pens

Dogs are certainly not the smartest creatures when it comes to choosing their snack. In some cases, they may mistake random objects, like socks and pens, for scrumptious snacks and eat them up. Similarly, canines can also consume plastic objects and other household items if they are not getting enough mental stimulation.

Other than that, hungry pups are also known to eat strange things when they can’t find food. Therefore, it’s critical to feed your furry companion on time to avoid such mishaps. Likewise, some dogs are fond of exploring the trash and can ingest plastic objects from there. If you own such a canine, opt for a dog-proof trash can to keep him/her out.

Last but not least, separation anxiety is one of the biggest causes of destructive behavior in dogs. A pup suffering from this mental stress needs a way to let out his/her frustration. For some canines, chewing on something is the best method for calming their nerves.

Symptoms of Intestinal Blockage in Dogs

sick dog laying on dog bed

Symptoms of intestinal blockage are general and can be confused with other issues as well. Having said that, you must watch out for the following symptoms if you think your dog ate a pen.

  • Abdominal pain
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lack of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Weakness
  • Constant whining from pain
  • Hunching

If your pet shows these symptoms, there’s definitely something inside his/her that is causing the discomfort and pain.

Treatment of Bowel Obstruction in Dogs

Dog in surgery

The very first thing that you need to do is contact your vet immediately. Provide him/her with all the details you know to ensure that he/she comes up with an effective solution. If the plastic of the pen lodged inside the dog’s body is sharp, surgery could be required. It’s highly likely that the vet will ask you to visit his/her clinic as soon as possible.

Once you reach the veterinarian clinic, the vet will do quick blood and imaging tests to identify the ingested object. The plastic from pens is generally rigid and holds its shape. Additionally, it can have jagged edges when broken. For these reasons, the pen cannot pass through the dog’s body naturally.

To make things even worse, the sharp plastic edges can cut into your dog’s intestinal and stomach walls. This will be extremely painful for your pup, and it can also lead to other problems in the gastrointestinal tract.

The exact treatment will depend on where the pen is lodged. Your vet will likely ask you about the plastic your dog ate. Ideally, you should bring similar pens because they can help your vet assess the severity of plastic indigestion.

If your vet thinks that the plastic will pass out of your dog’s body naturally, your dog may be discharged immediately. However, plastic from pens usually gets stuck inside the intestines and blocks everything behind it.

In this case, your vet has two options. The first one is comparatively simpler in which he/she can try to remove the plastic using endoscopy. However, surgical removal may be necessary in some cases where the lodged plastic can’t be removed from endoscopy. It is also possible that your vet will need to repair the damage caused by plastic.

My Dog Ate Pen Ink

spilled bottle of ink with fountain pen  on wood table

Most inks are non-toxic because they are made up of dyes, pigments, solvents, and water. Although they are not poisonous, it’s always better to keep your dog away from pens. However, certain inks contain ethanol and it can be catastrophic if your dog ate a pen with this ink.

Symptoms of Ink Poisoning in Dogs

You must look for signs of ink poisoning even if most pens have non-poisonous inks. If you think your dog ate a pen, the list of possible symptoms is given below.

  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Irritation in mouth
  • Lack of appetite
  • Breathing difficulties
  • Lethargy
  • Staggering
  • Seizures
  • Unconsciousness

If your dog exhibits any of these symptoms after eating a pen, contact your vet immediately!

Treatment of Ink Poisoning in Dogs

Dog at vet

Fortunately, ink poisoning can be treated quite quickly and easily if the treatment is started on time. Your vet will start by inducing vomiting in an attempt to make your dog vomit any ink in his/her throat. Similarly, activated charcoal is often used to prevent the absorption of toxins in your dog’s intestines. Time is critical here, and you must seek immediate veterinarian care for your canine friend to ensure a quick recovery.

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