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Tinsel Poisoning In Dogs - Causes, Symptoms, Treatment

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Christmas is a bright and colorful holiday that can bring great joy and cheer to families worldwide. It's also a time when many people like to decorate their homes with glittering lights, tinsel and other festive decorations. If your dog happens to be curious enough, these decorations can prove dangerous. Most hazards associated with Christmas decorations are the result of eating tinsel.

 

What Happens When Your Pet Swallows Tinsel?

In some very lucky cases, eating tinsel won't hurt your pet at all, and the only evidence you'll see is a shiny speck or two in their poop. However, if tinsel gets stuck anywhere along its journey through your dog's digestive tract, it could cause tinsel poisoning, leading to severe health problems.

 

Types Of Tinsel Poisoning In Dogs

There are two types of tinsel poisoning in dogs.

  • Linear foreign body
  • Intestinal blockage

 

Linear Foreign Body

Linear foreign bodies are foreign materials that are long and thin, like tinsel, ribbons, and string which can cause a lot of trouble in the gastrointestinal tract if ingested.

 

Tinsel can wrap around the base of your pet's tongue, making it difficult for your dog to pass it through its intestines. The intestines may contract through the ingested tinsel, causing scrapes and scratches in the soft tissue of the intestinal tract. Consequently, bacteria from the intestines can seep into the abdomen, causing severe infections. The damage caused can be irreversible or life-threatening.

 

Intestinal Blockage

Ingested tinsel can also form a tangled ball in the stomach. This can keep it from passing through the intestines, resulting in intestinal blockages.

 

Symptoms Of Tinsel Ingestion In Dogs

Symptoms of tinsel ingestion in dogs can range from mild to severe. Here are some of the most common symptoms:

  • Vomiting and diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dehydration
  • Weakness
  • Pawing at the mouth

 

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Tinsel Poisoning

Because linear foreign bodies are often difficult to see during regular x-rays, additional diagnostic tools—such as contrast x-rays, MRI, or ultrasound are sometimes needed.

Emergency surgery is usually required if an intestinal blockage has been confirmed. Sometimes doctors will perform a preliminary procedure to investigate the digestive tract even when there are no signs of blockage, just in case foreign materials have become trapped inside the intestines—which can be dangerous if left untreated.

 

Keeping Your Pet Safe From Tinsel Poisoning

If your pet has a taste for holiday decorations, substitute the thin strands of tinsel with thicker rope-like items. These are harder for pets to get into their mouths. It is essential to keep all decorations out of reach so you can prevent your pet from ingesting any potential hazards.

 

But even with the high placement of decorations, your pet may still be able to climb up and reach them; tinsel can fall within your pet's reach. To keep your pet safe, you would do better to avoid this type of decoration altogether.

 

Your Pet Will Be Treated Like Family At Best Care Animal Hospital

At Best Care Animal Hospital, we provide all types of services for your pet—from routine wellness exams and sick care to surgery. Our veterinarian puts the needs and concerns of both pet owners and their pets ahead of all else.


Call us at 281-251-0893 if you are concerned about something your pet ingested.

 

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