Yesterday, I was in a bit of a panic because Pogie the puppy wasn’t acting like a puppy. She wasn’t jumping around; there was no begging for treats, no questing for cats, no scampering.
And she wanted to just flop on the bed upstairs away from everyone. Pogie the puppy is not that kind of puppy. She’s the kind of puppy who wants to be right in the action, preferably touching Sparty (the dog) a cat or a human even when she’s asleep.
Pogie vomited. It was pretty chill at first, just breakfast. She pooped, but it was normal. She did not drool. She did not foam. Her head did not spin around like she was a canine cast member of The Exorcist.
My head, however? It came pretty close.
I obsessed about bowel obstructions and poisons and we made promises that if she still seemed sick tomorrow we’d call the vet.
I also obsessively googled things. And then Pogie threw up a gallon of liquid and it looked like there was a bit of a feminine hygiene product in it.
“What’s that?” Shaun said.
“That is a piece of tampon!” I shouted. “OUR DOG ATE A TAMPON!”
I got a paper towel, picked it up and actually peered at it really intensely. I never knew that I would grow up to be a person who would stare at a vomit slathered piece of used tampon, but apparently I am.
Shaun and I shared a look. Three days ago, Xane didn’t leave their bathroom door closed and Pogie went in the trash. There was trash all over the floor that I picked up. I never realized that there could be trash in Pogie’s belly, and yes, she is a puppy and I should have realized that PUPPIES EAT ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING!
Now you can imagine me obsessively googling “dogs+tampons.” And it turns out that tampons are really bad for dogs to swallow. They can cause bowels instructions. They can die.
According to Emergency Vet USA,
“Unfortunately for our furry friends, eating a tampon can be extremely dangerous. The main purpose of the tampon is what makes it so dangerous when consumed by a dog.
“Tampons are designed to remain intact when in the body for long periods of time, as well as swelling to absorb fluids.
“This results in tampons not being easily digested by the gut, as well as the potential for the tampon to expand in the stomach or intestines.”
Now that we knew what the actual problem was, it was now way past the time of our vet being open. Shaun said, “I bet she’ll feel better now.”
We laid down with her.
We listened to her belly.
She didn’t seem quite better. Then Shaun carried her outside with Sparty and she did her business. She did her business for a long, long time and created a long, long business. Imagine two feet long, all attached, one tampon after another after another, strings hitching into each other. Our tiny puppy had eaten at least five tampons. Her poop was longer than her body.
LONGER THAN HER BODY!
And let me tell you, Pogie’s tummy did not digest those tampons.
When a dog eats a tampon (or many tampons like Pogie, the overachieving puppy) they can irritate their GI tract, scrape it, irritate it, and the tampon can expand and irritate it and make the dog hurt. They can have bloody poop. Pogie did not. We checked obviously. You can imagine us gloved up, nostrils flaring, studying that poop.
Tampon consumption can cause choking because of the string and the cotton.
According to National Canine Research Association of America,
“Blockages in the digestive tract can prevent fluid, foods, and gas from being able to move normally through your dog’s body.
“This can be both painful and life-threatening, as it can restrict blood flow to the intestines, stomach, or esophagus.
“If the blockage isn’t treated quickly enough, necrosis can set in, causing tissue death and even more complications.”
Tampon consumption can also obstruct the dog’s bowel. It can get stuck so nothing else can get through.
Sometimes, like Pogie, a dog will be able to get rid of the tampon themselves. Usually, this depends on how many tampons they ate and how big their intestines are. This is supposed to be pretty dangerous. You shouldn’t wait like we did. You should call the vet. And according to Emergency Vet USA it takes about 72 hours for bowel obstruction symptoms. Our bathroom event was on Saturday. Pogie’s big event was on Tuesday.
We were super lucky. I hope that you’ll be lucky, too.
I AM RISKING IT ALL WRITING YOU THIS.
“You can’t write about this,” one of the kiddos said. They are fourteen. Fourteen is a hard age to have a bonus parent like me.
“I have to!” I said. “Dogs could die. People must know!”
“But it’s ridiculous.”
“That is exactly why.”
“People will judge you.”
“People judge me anyway,” I said because damn if that’s not true. “I’d rather they know.”
They then stomped off because (I think) it was their tampons.