What Should You Do if Your Dog Ate a Pen

Dog Ate a Pen

If you have a dog, you know it will eat everything around, without much of a filter. And I`m talking about anything from socks to toys and even pencils, as well as anything else you might see around the house. The way in which dogs can eat anything that fits in their mouth can cause them to experience quite a few health issues. This article will give you important information on what can happen when your dog eats a pen and what you should do about this.

So Your Dog Ate a Plastic Pen

Does your dog act restless around your table and one (or even more) of your pens are missing? Then he might have swallowed it. The good news is that most types of pens are made with non-toxic inks, which means that there are almost no chances of the dog getting poisoned. Even though the ink itself isn’t toxic, there is still a danger due to the plastic body of the pen being pretty troublesome for pets.

But Why Are Plastic Pens Dangerous for Dogs?

The danger comes from the fact that the plastic part of the pen can easily get stuck inside the body of the dog, leading to a critical medical issue. The medical issues can range from bowel obstruction to gastrointestinal issues and other complications. This is one of the main reasons why eating plastic is seen as very dangerous for dogs.

So Why Would Dogs Eat Plastic?

When choosing what they eat, dogs can be considered less than smart, to say it nicely. Most of the time, they would eat objects like pens or socks, because they confuse them for some snacks they like. It can also happen that the dog feels a lack of mental stimulation, leading to the consumption of plastic objects or other things around the house out of boredom.

You might also like my articles on what can you do when your dog ate a stink bug or seaweed sheets, or drank coffee.

And that’s not all. In general, when a pup is hungry, he is also known to ingest all kinds of things around the house. This is why it is vital that you give your pup enough food and at the right time. So that you can avoid these types of issues. There are also dogs that like to go through your trash. While doing this, if they get curious, they might try to get a bite out of some of the objects they find there. Get a dog-proof trash can if you know you have a dog like this, to make sure that it can’t get inside it.

And of course, the last reason I can think of right now is separation anxiety, which is one of the biggest reasons for dogs to become destructive and do all sorts of nasty things. A pup will show his frustration when dealing with mental stress and suffering by damaging all kinds of things and ingesting bite-size items.

Symptoms of Intestinal Blockage in Dogs

An intestinal blockage will usually have very general symptoms, that can be easily confused with other medical issues as well. With that said, if you believe your pet has swallowed a pen, try to look out for these symptoms, as they are the most common:

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

A combination of these symptoms will give you a hint that your dog is experiencing pain and discomfort from something stuck inside him.

How to Treat Bowel Obstruction in Dogs

Before anything else, make sure you give your vet a call as soon as possible. Give them all of the necessary details to make sure that they figure out the best course of action. Surgery might also be required if the dog ingested a sharp pen that got stuck inside its body. Most of the time, the vet will tell you to take your go and go straight to the clinic.

Dog Eating Pen InkAs soon as the dog gets to the vet, imaging and blood tests will be done so that the object can be properly identified. Most of the time, the plastic the pen is made from will hold its shape and be quite rigid. It can also have jagged edges if it breaks into multiple pieces. This is why the dog will have a hard time eliminating the pen naturally.

And if that’s not enough, the sharp edges of the plastic object can cut into the walls of your dog’s stomach and intestines. Aside from being extremely painful, it can also cause all kinds of gastrointestinal tract-related problems.

Depending on the exact place where the pen is stuck, the treatment might differ. Your vet will also want to know everything about the actual piece of plastic the dog ingested. If possible, you can even take similar pens to the vet so that they have an understanding of the severity of the issue.

Your dog might even be discharged right after the consultation if the vet considers that the piece of plastic can be eliminated naturally by the dog’s body. The problem arises when the piece of plastic will get stuck inside the intestine of the dog and causes a blockage, blocking everything behind it.

This case leaves you with two options. The easier solution is, of course, for the vet to attempt to remove the plastic using endoscopy. The second option is the surgical removal of the object, and this will be necessary in more severe cases when the lodged plastic can’t be taken out using the endoscopy technique. Your vet might also need to repair any damage that was caused by the plastic going through the dog’s system.

What if Your Dog Ate Pen Ink?

The content of most inks is a combination of water, solvents, pigments, and dyes, which makes them non-toxic when ingested. It’s still not a great idea for you to let your dog ingest pens or pen inks, even though they aren’t poisonous. There are also inks that contain ethanol, and this substance can be really bad for the dog when ingested.

Symptoms of Ink Poisoning in Dogs

Although most inks from pens won’t be poisonous, you should still look out for symptoms that might give away ink poisoning in your dog. Among the most common signs of ink poisoning are:

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

If you notice some of these symptoms in any combination after your dog has eaten a pen, get in touch with your vet as soon as possible.

How to reat Ink Poisoning in Dogs

The good news is that as long as you start the treatment as soon as possible, ink poisoning will be treated easily and quickly. The first thing a dog will probably try is to induce vomiting, so that they can make the dog get rid of any left ink from his throat. To help prevent the toxins from getting absorbed in the dog’s intestines, the vet might also give him activated charcoal. But as I said, time is of the esence here so make sure you go to the vet as soon as you can.

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