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Dogs are curious creatures. And as silly as it may sound, they have a habit of chewing on whatever random thing they can access! Do you remember that time your dog chewed on your new shoes?
It might seem like all fun and games, but it immediately turns into an alarming situation when your dog accidentally ingests a small inedible object such as a Lego.
The most common things that dogs accidentally swallow are Legos or other small toys that can pose potential choking hazards for dogs and children alike.
Dogs definitely should not eat Legos but the Legos are small enough that it can happen! Should accidental ingestion occur, the harm done would depend on the size of your dog and the size of the Lego that it swallowed.
Smaller dogs are more at risk of choking on a piece of Lego than bigger dogs but even if your dog is larger, the Lego can still damage its internal organs. The safest bet is to always go to the vet and seek medical attention immediately assuming that they don’t immediately throw it back up.
What Happens When a Dog Eats or Swallows a Lego?
The consequences of eating Legos differ on a case by case basis. Most dogs will experience no harmful symptoms aside from mild discomfort after swallowing the Lego and many of them will throw it back up almost immediately.
However, there can also be instances where your dog will be at risk of developing some internal issues or start to choke on the Lego piece. Of course if your dog is choking, taking them to the vet immediately is 100% your best option.
Below are some of the common things that can happen to dogs should they accidentally ingest Legos. Of course these can vary based on the size of the dog, what Lego was swallowed, and other extenuating circumstances.
Lego pieces can cause choking and even possibly suffocation, especially in the case of big pieces. This is especially true for puppies and smaller dogs.
Larger dogs can also choke on a Lego if the shape of the piece gets stuck or scrapes their throats while they are sealing it.
Check to see if your dog has difficulty breathing immediately you discover that they have swallowed a Lego. If they do, try the Heimlich maneuver on them or drive to your vet immediately.
Other than being a choking hazard, Legos are also foreign, inedible objects that can carry bacteria.
This bacteria can cause inflammation in a dog’s stomach, putting them at risk of developing gastroenteritis.
Some symptoms include:
- Gagging after drinking or eating
- Loss of appetite
- Vomiting yellow and foamy vomit
Should you notice these symptoms after your dog ingests a Lego piece, you should schedule a medical examination immediately or if you have an emergency vet in your area you should give them a call.
Legos can get stuck in your dog’s body, often in the gastrointestinal tract. When a gastrointestinal blockage happens, your dog will have difficulty eating and pooping as well.
In most cases, a gastrointestinal blockage can be removed naturally, but it’s still best to see a vet to prevent any symptoms and to make sure there isn’t any lasting damage.
Watch out for constipation and diarrhea, as these are the most common signs of gastrointestinal blockage.
Other symptoms include:
- Loss of appetite
Peritonitis happens when the stomach, intestines, and other gastrointestinal parts of a dog’s body get scratched or wounded, hence causing inflammation and serious infections.
The risk is much more likely when your dog swallows a Lego piece because of the hardness and sharpness of the item.
This is a very serious consequence of swallowing a foreign object, so if you were to notice the following symptoms, do not hesitate to see your vet immediately:
- Abdominal pain
What To Do When Your Dog Swallows a Lego
All dogs, regardless of breed and size, will likely be attracted by the small, colorful Lego pieces lying around on the floor.
The chances of your dog swallowing a Lego piece accidentally aren’t very high assuming that they are trained not to eat or chew on your children’s toys. However, despite the possibility being quite low it certainly can happen.
For those dogs that swallow a Lego, how alarming the situation is can be identified by considering:
- The size of your dog
- The size of the Lego piece
- The shape of the Lego piece
Swallowing a Lego piece is much more harmful to small dogs because it can easily get stuck in critical parts of their bodies. They will also have a difficult time pooping a large piece out.
In these cases, it’s important to call your vet and take your dog for a medical examination immediately to prevent further complications.
For bigger dogs who swallow smaller Lego pieces, it probably won’t be too big of an issue, but you do need to keep a close eye for symptoms like choking, reduced appetite, reduced energy, etc.
Also, check their stool to see if they pooped the Lego piece out. If they do, you’re all in the clear but if not then you should contact a vet right away. Anything that your dog eats will generally come back out within 10-24 hours according to experts. So if you haven’t seen it in your dog’s stool in that time frame then you should contact your vet.
You can also help your dog discharge the Lego piece by inducing vomiting within 30 minutes after your dog swallows the Lego.
Any later than that and you won’t have any luck because the Lego piece most likely will have already passed through your dog’s stomach.
It may sound dangerous and harmful to induce vomiting, but don’t worry. Some vets also do this as an initial step to help expel Legos from a dog’s body.
However, bringing a Lego piece back up can also damage your dog’s throat and cause injuries. If you have reservations or the swallowed Lego piece is too large, do not try this procedure and take your pet to the veterinarian instead.
To help induce vomiting, you can give your dog 3% hydrogen peroxide. Allow them to take only 1 teaspoon per 10 pounds of their body weight.
After consuming the hydrogen peroxide, they should vomit within 15 minutes. If they don’t, it’s safe to let them take another dose.
If you still don’t have luck the second time, stop giving them hydrogen peroxide as it can be harmful to their health.
Instead, wait a couple of hours to see if they poop out the Lego piece. If not, go see your veterinarian. Make sure to inform them about your initial efforts so that they can take the best possible steps to help expel the Lego piece.
Although there are things you can do to try and remove the Lego piece, such as inducing vomiting or waiting for the dog to poop it out, the safest way is always to seek professional help.
Veterinarians are trained for these types of situations. They know the best way to help your dog, so you will have more confidence in the effectiveness of their procedure and the safety of your pet.
Your job is to make sure that choking hazards are stored safely and away from your dog’s reach. So always put away your Lego pieces after use and never let your dog get near them or you can also train your dog not to eat toys off the floor as well to prevent this from happening in the first place.
These small actions can go a long way in keeping your dog safe and healthy.