JoAnna Lou
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Dog Eats Christmas Lights
Wires were the only clue to the intestinal blockage

Our pets eat a lot of strange objects, but this may be a first!  Charlie, a mixed breed pup in Southampton, England, recently got life-saving surgery to remove a string of Christmas lights that he ate.

Charlie’s family didn’t even notice that the lights were missing, but became concerned after finding wires in his poop.  An x-ray painted a clear picture of his stomach’s tangled contents and the vets performed emergency surgery to remove the lights.

My Sheltie, Nemo, went through a similar procedure this summer after he ate a whole leash.  Like Charlie, Nemo is prone to eating random objects.  I have to be really careful about what gets left out around the house even though it’s pretty much “dog proof.”

The holidays are a particularly hard time with the general chaos, presents under the tree (my tree is safely behind an exercise pen!), and boxes of decorations ready to be sniffed and investigated.

Be sure to keep interesting objects out of reach and monitor your dog for symptoms of an intestinal obstruction, which include loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, and diarrhea (or no stool at all if it’s a complete obstruction). The American Kennel Club also advises against decorating your tree with edible objects, like strings of popcorn.

Stay safe this holiday season! 

JoAnna Lou is a New York City-based researcher, writer and agility enthusiast.

Photo by PSDA.

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