Dogs explore the world by chewing and sometimes picking everything that they find. If you are a pet parent, you’d be familiar with the drill, opening your fur ball’s mouth and demanding that they spit whatever on earth they have eaten.
Most of the time, your little buddy will whiningly comply, but tiny things like Lego may be swallowed even before your dog knows.
This article is a complete guide to equip yourself for Lego emergencies. Read on to know the possible symptoms of Lego ingestion, steps to take if your doggo swallows lego piece(s), and tips to prevent this altogether.
What Is A Lego, You Ask?
These are small plastic-made building blocks for little children. If you have an adorable toddler, chances are they may share it with their furry friend. But, being the curious little pup, your dog is likely to confuse the colorful plastic bites with their newfound food.
The question that arises now is whether you should rush to the ER or wait to see if your dog can pass it in stool the next morning.
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 doggo’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.
Another less safe option is to try and induce vomiting. Professionals best perform this practice, but on advice from your vet, you can try this method. Please note that you can induce vomiting only if your dog just swallowed the lego piece within 20-25 minutes of ingestion.
Steps to Induce Vomiting
- Feed your pet a small meal to cushion the object (Lego, in this case) and protect its stomach
- Give one teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide per 10 pounds of your pet’s body weight.
- Wait for 15 minutes. If they don’t vomit, try once again.
- If they still haven’t vomited, do not give them another dose of peroxide. Instead, monitor your pup’s symptoms call your vet on priority.
A word of caution: Inducing vomiting at home is not always safe; the retreating lego piece may get stuck in the throat and cause even more damage. So, if you are new to this, it’s better to let the dog-tor handle the situation.
Alternatively, if your dog is choking or has lost consciousness, you can perform the Heimlich Maneuver –
Steps for performing the Heimlich Maneuver for your dog:
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 you are curious puppy 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.
Can You Stop Your Dog From Eating Strange Stuff Like Lego?
As in any other case, prevention is better and cheaper than cure. One effective way is to see from your furry friend’s perspective and “dog-proof” your house.
If you don’t allow your dog access to Lego blocks or similar ingestible objects, chances are she will be safe. There are plenty of safer toys that your buddy can play with and enjoy.
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 chew away any part of the plastic.
As dogs grow, they learn what to eat and what not to eat. While it is quite apparent to you and me that anything plastic, no matter how tempting, isn’t edible. Your pup may prefer to have a first-hand tasting experience. So, you must pay attention to your puppy.
Additionally, if your dog is a common offender, he might need a basket muzzle when left unattended in an unfamiliar environment. Don’t worry, for these types of muzzles lets your dog breathe freely and even drink water while keeping them from choking on plastic delicacies.
Whether you should take your puppy to the vet or wait for them to pass stool depends on your dog’s size, the size of the piece ingested, and the emerging symptoms, among other things.
Possible remedies for a dog that has accidentally ingested Lego or similar objects can vary widely from just plucking it from their mouth to performing gastric suction.
As first aid, you can perform the Heimlich maneuver on your dog or try and induce vomiting after consulting the vet. The seriousness of the matter can be aptly discerned by a vet alone, whether by cupping your dog’s abdomen, performing an x-ray, or an endoscopy.
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. Be sure that someone always monitors your dog while near anything that can fit inside her mouth.