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Insulation keeps the home cool in the summer and warm in winter. But this does not mean that it is fit for consumption for your pup. While insulation is generally out of dogs’ reach, if your pet is curious or naughty, and the stuff is on the floor for some reason, then eating insulation is possible.
This article covers everything you need to know in case you suspect that your pet has nibbled on insulation and possibly ingested some. We’ll cover the risks associated with it and what you, as an owner, can do to help your dog.
Facts About Insulation
Many parts of your home, such as the roof, walls, attic, and ceilings, may be insulated. Insulation materials may include materials like cotton, fiberglass, vermiculite, perlite, and cellulose.
Sometimes, insulation materials are treated with toxic substances to make them fireproof, pest-proof, and more durable. However, these toxins are dangerous for pets. In really bad cases, ingesting insulation can be fatal for dogs. For this reason, you must treat your dog within 24 hours of the incident occurring.
According to the Illinois Department of Public Health, materials like fiberglass may perforate the intestines when digested. These materials can also get stuck in the digestive tract and cause a lethal blockage that requires surgery to correct.
Dangers of Eating Insulation
- Internal bleeding
- Internal blockage
- Toxic poisoning
Treatments and Medical Procedures
First, the doctor may take an X-ray to locate the foreign object. It would help if you took the sample of the insulation material so that the doctor knows what they’re looking for and can make an informed decision accordingly.
Further, the doctor may use an endoscope to look deeply into the body. By using tweezers, the doctor may attempt to remove the unwanted object (insulation, in this case).
This method is only applicable if the endoscope and tweezers cannot reach the material. This process involves removing the unwanted object and stitching everything back up again while the dog is sedated. Your dog will be given post-surgery medication and probably a few follow-up appointments at the animal clinic to check on its progress.
Symptoms of Insulation Consumption
Common symptoms include lethargy, fever, discomfort, and vomiting. Ingestion of a foreign object may lead to excessive thirst which is also known as polydipsia.
Other symptoms like swollen tongue and seizures are both serious concerns. If your dog begins to seize or faint, it might be dealing with internal bleeding, poison complications, and more. Swelling in the dog’s mouth is a sign that there might be a degree of poisoning. Vomiting or coughing up blood also signals internal organ damage and bleeding.
If any of these symptoms are visible, then you must take your pup to the vet without delay.
No matter how tiny the piece of insulation has been, never, we repeat, never neglect the seriousness of the situation. Eating insulation may lead to lifelong consequences for the dog like poor organ function and eventual death.
Prevention is better than cure. Here are some ways to prevent the calamity altogether.
Don’t Use Insulation in the Doghouse
Insulation in your home is generally out of reach of the pet. However, in a doghouse, the risk of the dog eating insulation multiplies. Therefore, always use a dog -friendly design. Avoid using materials that are unfit for a dog if consumed by accident.
Train Your Dog
As a pet parent, it is your responsibility to ensure that your dog does not eat unsuitable things. Sometimes, training can help with this. Very often, people successfully train their dog to immediately drop a foreign object when commanded to do so.
Keep Dogs Away From Renovation Sites
Insulation material is more easily accessible on a construction site. Therefore, keep your companion away from such places. The construction site is one of the most dangerous spots for humans and pets alike.
Never let your dog roam freely on a construction site. If there is renovation going on at your home, then cover the insulation materials and keep them out of reach of the dog.
A Quick Summary
Insulation is one of the worst things your dog can consume, even compared to bacon, chocolate, or toothpaste. It’s best to prevent the situation rather than deal with it. But if you suspect your pet has eaten insulation, take the dog and a piece of the insulation to the vet for assessment and advice.