Ella is the goofiest pup. She always manages to get into trouble.
This time she found some legos in my nephew’s room and managed to eat a few of them. I heard him scream from down the hall so I ran over there as fast as I could.
When I got there, he was standing on his bed crying clutching two pieces of Lego in his hand while Ella looked up at me with her pink tongue hanging out like she didn’t have a care in the world.
We did some quick research and in this article we’ll show you what we learned about what to do if your dog ate legos.
Table of Contents
Check For These Signs
Ingesting a lego is normally safe for your dog. The problem begins if you have a tiny dog that ate a large lego. There are a few things you should check immediately.
The first is to check and see which lego the dog ate, if possible. Was it a large or small lego? Depending on the type of legos you have at home, you can give your vet some information pertaining to its size. Legos made for toddlers, for example, are usually large. Legos that are made for older children or collectors are small.
The type of lego should also be considered. Was it a simple block? Was it a lego person? Was it a car? The type of lego it was can determine how dangerous it was to consume.
Another thing to check is to see if your dog is choking. Certain parts may not have cleared its windpipe. You may need to remove the lego yourself through an animal-friendly Heimlich move or take your dog to the nearest vet or hospital.
Choking is a real concern for dogs with legos. The texture of the lego makes it easy to get stuck in their esophagus. To check if you can see the lego, carefully hold your dog and open their mouth. They may be panicking and attempt to be aggressive towards you. Muzzling your dog is out of the question.
If you can see the lego and it’s freely moving, then you can safely remove it. However, if it’s stuck, then you shouldn’t touch it. You could make the problem worse.
The next thing to check for is vomiting, diarrhea, or a fever. This indicates that they have gastroenteritis. This can happen if the lego caused inflammation in their gut.
Finally, you need to check for constipation. This is a sign that the lego is blocking the intestines or some part of the digestive system. This can become a serious problem.
There are a few problems that may develop if your dog eats a lego. They include:
- Gastrointestinal blockage
Gastroenteritis occurs when the stomach or intestines becomes inflamed. This is usually due to the presence of bacteria, foreign objects, or poisoning. They’ll vomit or diarrhea in response to try to rid the body of the toxin. The vomit will usually be a foamy substance and is white or pale yellow in color.
They’ll have diarrhea often throughout the day.
You may also notice that your dog has a fever or a lack of appetite. When they eat or drink, they may gag.
Peritonitis may be caused by the sharp edges of the lego. As the lego passes through their digestive system, it may scratch or tear their sensitive organs. As a result, peritonitis forms. This is a serious condition. Most animals that develop this condition do not survive.
That’s because the wounds in the stomach or intestines allow for bacteria to enter and poison the body. Fever, bleeding, and abdominal pain are common symptoms of the condition. Death occurs when the dog goes into shock due to the presence of a bacterial infection.
Finally, a gastrointestinal blockage can occur when a lego becomes stuck in their intestine or in another part of their digestive system. When the blockage occurs, it keeps the dog from being able to digest anything else. This makes it difficult, if not impossible, for your dog to poop or eat food normally.
Some of the most common symptoms of gastrointestinal blockage are constipation and diarrhea. Your dog may be unable to eject solid waste from its body because of the blockage. As a result, only watery waste is able to be ejected.
There are other symptoms like a lack of appetite, vomiting, and bloating. Your dog may become dehydrated or feel weak. Taking your dog to a vet can remove the blockage.
What To Do
If your dog is choking on the lego, then you need to perform the Heimlich Maneuver if you know it. It’s a little different for dogs than it is with humans. Otherwise, you need to get the dog to someone who knows how to perform it.
If the dog isn’t choking, then you should wait and see if the lego passes. You’ll want to check their poop until the piece emerges. Because it can be difficult to know how many legos your dog ate, it’s a good idea to inspect their food a few times.
Any signs of constipation, abdominal pain, or blood should immediately alarm you. A visit to the vet can tell you whether or not you have anything to worry about.
You can also force your dog to vomit if 30 minutes haven’t passed since the time of eating the lego. This is done by giving them 1 teaspoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide per 10 pounds. However, it can be dangerous for dogs to puke a lego back up. It may become lodged in their throat.
Do I Need To See The Vet Or Go To The Emergency Animal Hospital?
If your dog is choking, then you should take it to the nearest vet or hospital.
If your dog isn’t displaying signs of peritonitis, then you can get by with just visiting the vet. They can help remove any obstructions that may be occurring or give you advice on how to help the lego pass.
If your dog is displaying signs of peritonitis, then you need to take them to the animal hospital immediately. Delaying further could have lethal consequences for your dog.
Safe Alternatives To Play With
The safest course to take with legos is to remove them from your dog’s reach and store them away. Leaving your legos around or giving them alternatives that are similar to legos may encourage them to eat legos that they come across in the future.
If your child wants to play with legos, then the safest option for them and your pet is to use the large legos made for toddlers. They’re too large for smaller dogs to swallow and bigger dogs may not be as interested.