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Check for These Signs
Always keep a sharp eye out for bleeding more than anything else. Chances are that your dog is currently bleeding at least a bit from the mouth since glass fragments are normally sharp, but you’ll want to make sure that such bleeding isn’t excessive.
Eventually, blood might start to show up in a dog’s stool. This is a sign of a more serious problem and you’ll want to consider taking your dog to an emergency animal center.
See if you can find any remnants of the glass that your dog was chewing on. Round glass beads and other glass objects without sharp edges are usually relatively easy for a dog to pass.
These aren’t as serious or immediate of a concern as, say, the shards of a broken Christmas ornament would be. Watch your dog to make sure that he or she doesn’t develop any other symptoms that might not be related to the glass itself as well.
In general, dogs eat kitchen glassware because they’re enthusiastic about some kind of food that’s on it. Your dog might start to exhibit unusual behaviors or even develop diarrhea as a result of being exposed to some kind of food that isn’t normally safe for canines to eat.
When dogs bite into glass, they usually spit it right back out. Therefore, the biggest problem you’ll usually run into is bleeding of the gums or underneath their mouth flaps.
Dogs who do swallow a piece of glass might show any of the following symptoms:
- Vomiting Blood: Glass may break in a dog’s digestive tract and cause bleeding
- Ulceration: When dogs can’t pass glass, it might get caught in their intestines
- Blood in the Stool: Intestinal tears may begin to bleed over time
- Abdominal Pain: Since glass is indigestible, it can cause inflammation
- Lethargy: A dog that’s eaten a fair amount of glass may become increasingly unresponsive over time
- Lack of Appetite: Any dog experiencing intestinal inflammation won’t want to eat actual food
- Strange Behaviors: Broken glass from bottles might have some residue from whatever was in the bottle, which may intoxicate dogs
- Poisoning: Kitchen glassware is attractive to dogs because of it’s food smell, but this same material may contain compounds that could cause neurological damage
What to Do
As soon as you find that your dog is chewing on glass, remove all of the remaining broken pieces and do your best to clear out his or her mouth. Dogs will normally spit out glass on their own, unless it’s from a piece of kitchen glassware that had food on it.
According to noted veterinarian Dr. Marty Becker, you’ll want to call your normal animal care professional for advice. He’s mentioned using plain white bread, unseasoned pumpkin or mashed potatoes as a way of dealing with it.
Any soft food like this that’s safe for dogs is going to help coat the sharp ends of the glass and allow your dog to pass it a little better. Others have recommended the use of peanut butter, which is quite tasty to dogs and also has the possibility of coating the objects and helping them to pass.
Eventually, you might start to see some pieces of glass exit your dog’s stool in this way. Wear medical gloves and go through your dog’s droppings if you’ve elected to use this method.
While it might seem a little unsanitary, you shouldn’t have any issues if you’re properly protected. You’ll be able to ensure that the shards have passed out of your dog’s digestive tract in this way.
Do I Need to See the Vet or Go to the Emergency Animal Hospital?
There seems to be some disagreement on this topic, in part because dogs don’t normally eat any piece of glass unless it’s coated with food or a part of a beverage. Regardless of the circumstances, you want to at least call a veterinarian as soon as you’ve realized that your dog has ingested any quantity of glass.
They’ll probably give you advice that’s much like the above depending on what kind of glass your dog ate and how much. That being said, there’s a chance that your dog may have to come into the office for an immediate checkup.
While it’s always a good idea to take your dog to a vet as soon as possible after the incident, a vet will potentially recommend the use of surgery if there’s any chance that your dog has a perforated intestine. The good news is that this is quite rare, but it’s important to have it treated promptly if it does occur.
Safe Alternatives to Eat or Play With
No glass object should ever be looked at as safe for dogs, no matter how round the edges might be. Make sure that all glass objects are out of reach of your dog and give them purpose-made hard chew toys that are suitable for dogs instead.
By offering an actual dog toy, you’ll be helping to ensure that your dog won’t have much interest in other things in the house. Make sure that you know what kind of toys your dog favors the most, since these are going to be especially effective at reducing the risk that your dog might end up chewing on something that isn’t safe.
Some dogs naturally gravitate toward Christmas ornaments and other round glass objects because of their shape. If this is the case, then a good solid ball that’s designed for canine usage might be your best alternative.
Dogs who enjoy chewing on round objects will likely be captivated by the fact that they can bite into the ball and watch it go back to its original shape. As long as they’re preoccupied with something like this, they’ll be less likely to get curious and look at other things.