Dogs explore the world by chewing and licking stuff. Worse, they grab weird things and refuse to let go. If you are a pet parent, you’d be familiar with the drill – you pry open your fur ball’s mouth and demand that they spit whatever they have eaten!
Most of the time, your pet will comply but too often, they quickly swallow their prize to avoid losing it to your strict parenting! If you are also a parent of children, then chances are that there is Lego in your home. These tiny blocks are easy to swallow.
This article is a complete guide to equipping yourself with Lego emergencies. Read on to learn more about the possible symptoms of Lego ingestion, the steps you can take, and tips to prevent this from happening altogether.
Lego blocks are small plastic toys chiefly invented to help children build different things. These days, this super-popular toy also comes with tiny human figures, horses, dragons, cars, tools, and more. But even though such accessories are loved by kids, the original building blocks remain a cornerstone for Lego fans. Most homes with children have Lego blocks and this makes ingesting a block a high risk if you also have a curious dog or puppy.
Your Dog Ate Lego, What To Expect?
If your dog accidentally ingests a Lego piece or any other foreign object, look out for the following symptoms:
- Choking or vomiting
- Pain in stomach
- Fatigue or restlessness
- Changes in usual behavior
- Disrupted bowel movement – diarrhea or constipation
What Should You Do?
If you can still see the Lego piece inside your dog’s mouth, carefully try to remove it.
On the other hand, if your pup has ingested the Lego piece, the safest and smartest thing to do is visit your veterinarian. If your vet isn’t available, call the local animal emergency center to immediately seek their advice.
Do not induce vomiting. You can make your dog seriously ill or even kill it. Induced vomiting should only be done by a vet at the animal clinic.
Alternatively, if your dog is choking or has lost consciousness, you can perform the Heimlich Maneuver.
Steps for Performing the Heimlich Maneuver
Carefully lay your dog on his back. Push inwards and forwards just below the rib cage on your dog’s abdomen using your palm.
Instead of lifting your large-sized dog, follow the following steps.
If your dog is in a standing position, wrap your hand around her belly and clutch your hands. Using a fist, push firmly up and in the forward direction, just behind the rib cage. Afterward, make her lie down on one side.
If your pup is already lying down on her side, use one hand to support her back while squeezing the abdomen upwards and forwards using the other hand.
After giving the Heimlich maneuver, check your dog’s mouth and look for the dislodged Lego piece. If found, carefully remove it from her mouth.
It Has Been More Than Two Hours, Now What?
If your dog ate the Lego more than two hours ago, vomiting is of no use. Thankfully small objects like Lego can pass through the digestive system without as much trouble and can be expelled with the feces. In any case, keep an eye on your pet and monitor their behavior.
Depending on your dog’s size and the piece of Lego, the vet may use endoscopy and perform stomach pumping to remove the object. But in case the Lego piece passes through the stomach into the intestines, your pet may need more invasive surgery.
Prevent Dogs From Eating Lego
Prevention is better and cheaper than a cure. One effective way to ensure that your pet stays safe is to “dog-proof” your house. If you don’t allow your dog access to Lego blocks or similar objects, chances are she will be safe.
Another important tip is to make sure that food greased fingers don’t touch Lego pieces. The smell of French fries, chocolate, and peanut butter is enough for your pup to swallow blocks that carry such smells.
A Quick Wrap Up
Whether you should take your puppy to the vet or wait for them to pass the Lego piece depends on your dog’s size and the size of the piece ingested, as well as any symptoms your dog might be displaying.
Possible remedies for a dog that has accidentally ingested Lego include removing it from its mouth, performing gastric suction, or surgery. As first aid, you can perform the Heimlich maneuver on your dog or allow a vet to induce vomiting.
Regardless of the type of treatment chosen, the wisest thing to do is keep toys like Lego on a high shelf or in a closed room. But in general, be sure to monitor your dog while they are near anything that can fit inside its mouth.