Dogs are very playful and absolutely a bundle of joy, but along with their playful nature comes an ‘If i see it, I eat it’ attitude, which can be disastrous for them and their owners.
They sometimes inhale or swallow things they shouldn’t, and this goes for every breed, and when they are pups, it makes the job extra tough for their owners to keep monitoring what they chew.
Especially the dogs having high chew drives, like Pit Bulls or Labrador Retrievers, etc., as they will start eating anything seen in front of them.
Toxic substances should be kept very far away from dogs, be it any size and breed, as they can reach for it if they have an eye, no matter how high or far it has been kept.
They sometimes swallow Glass making their owners fret about their well-being. Glass is at the top of the list of nontoxic substances dogs swallow.
This article will help you understand what should be done if your dog eats Glass and its dangers and potential consequences.
Keep reading the article till the end to understand this serious topic which can prevent any harm to your dogs.
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What Happens to Glass Inside of a Dog?
If your dog has ingested a glass, immediate medical attention is required. The glass size matters greatly; the more significant the glass shards, the more serious the damage could be.
Seek a veterinarian’s help, and after assessing the situation, they will plant further courses of action.
Vets have different procedures to treat depending on the situation. Tests like ultrasound and x-rays are done to evaluate the extent of the glass penetration and the damage it could have done, and the treatment is planned.
1. Treatment: If a Small Glass is Ingested
If the glass size is small, it can be treated with supportive care. Small glass fragments can easily pass through a dog’s digestive system without harming vital internal organs; thus, supportive care is advised to assist digestion.
Supportive care is when a dog receives timely medications, fluids, recommended food, and a balanced diet to help those small glass fragments pass through the system.
2. Treatment: If a Big piece of Glass is Ingested
If the ingested piece of Glass is large and can not be treated with supportive care, methods like endoscopy and surgery are chosen to treat the condition.
Surgery is performed if the big piece of Glass has damaged the organ; surgery is done by extracting that glass piece directly from the affected organ where the Glass is stuck. Surgery is done when no other option exists, and the dog’s health is at risk.
Endoscopy is also performed when a big shard of Glass has been ingested, but the condition is not critical, and no significant damage has been done.
A flexible tube with an endoscope (camera) is inserted into the dog’s body, and with the help of a camera, the vets locate the Glass and extract it with specialized instruments.
This process is often life-saving and is minimally invasive with no life-threatening issues.
What Happens to Dogs if they Eat a Glass?
Dogs eat grass and other weird and sometimes toxic substances because they find them attractive. Don’t ask me how but it is how they feel.
If they eat Glass, it can be very dangerous, and the bigger the Glass is, the more severe risk there is. Dogs find it hard to eat a glass because of the sharp edges and instantly try to spit it out.
But if they have eaten a glass, it can cause much damage to the body, but nothing is definite. It can cause various harm, which we will discuss below in the article.
Your dog will start choking as soon as they swallow it. Dogs are often capable of spitting things that are causing them to choke.
They will start drooling and coughing as soon as they choke and suffocates themselves; it is a sign for you to help them immediately.
Sometimes it will get stuck on the inside of their mouths and jaw, which can cause uncontrollable drooling and, in severe cases, lead to unconsciousness.
2. Bowel Perforation
A perforated bowel is the most complicated issue, and this is the worst-case scenario. It happens if a big broken piece of Glass or any foreign object is swallowed, damaging the bowel by opening wounds.
If taken in by the dog, any inedible substance, toxic or nontoxic, can result in perforated intestines from different areas. As a result, your dog will give up eating and feel lethargic and in pain with a fever.
As a dog owner, making decisions immediately without panicking if you think your dog has eaten Glass is important. Your dog may be internally bleeding and would need immediate help.
Extensive surgery would be required to get the dog treated, and some hard decisions are to be made by dog owners.
Other symptoms of glass ingestion:
Inflammation in the stomach and intestines, often due to infection, is Gastroenteritis. And any object which is not supposed to be eaten or swallowed can cause Gastroenteritis, even if it’s tiny or large or what material it is of.
If you think your dog ate a glass, getting it checked at the earliest is a priority as it can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalance.
Gastroenteritis can only be treated medically and by a vet after a proper examination, as it is often misunderstood for other conditions, as Gastroenteritis has no exact symptoms.
This is the most common observed symptom of glass ingestion. Vomiting will intensify if the glass shreds are stuck in their stomach or block digestion.
5. Abdominal Pain
Dogs may display stiffness, soreness, irritation, or pain in the abdominal region; you can notice changes in their sitting and sleeping postures.
6. Loss of Appetite
As mentioned above, refusing to eat is one of the common signs of post-glass eating.
7. Excessive Drooling
Inflammation of the intestine or the stomach causes excessive drooling when the Glass is still stuck in the throat.
8. Lethargy and Weakness
Dogs may feel weakness after glass ingestion as it can cause internal bleeding leading to sedentary behavior.
9. Presence of Blood
The presence of blood in stools or vomits is often caused by eating inedible substances, particularly Glass.
What to do if your Dog Ate Glass?
There is always a probability of accidents, and as a responsible dow owner, you should be ready and prepared for such accidents.
Here are the things you should do if your dog eats a glass.
1. Assess the Dog
If your dog has eaten a glass, start by checking if any piece of Glass is visible, and if you can see a glass, try removing it from your hand while taking out the Glass; ensure they do not bite you cause they can as they will be in a panic.
It is crucial for a dog owner to stay calm and not panic, as your dog can sense your emotions, and you staying calm will help your dog as well as help you to make the right decisions.
2. Do not Induce Vomiting
Many pet parents induce vomiting in dogs to let the damaging eatables out from the stomach, but in the case of glass ingestion, it will be more fatal than beneficial.
When vomiting back, the Glass can damage the esophagus, throat, mouth, or other internal parts; hence, inducing vomiting is not advised.
3. Call the Veterinarian
After assessing the situation, call your veterinarian and let them know what happened and explain the size, type, and material of the Glass and how long ago they ate it.
Also, explain to them any symptoms your dog is displaying, listen and note down every instruction your veterinarian gives, and adhere to it.
How to Prevent your Dog from Eating Glass?
As the saying goes, ‘Prevention is better than cure.’ Prevention certainly saves you from a lot of stress. Dogs sniff and eat anything they want; no matter how hard you try, you can’t stop them.
Accidents may happen, and to prevent t big accidents like eating Glass, below are the steps to follow:
1. Clean up Glass Shards Immediately
If a jar or any glass body is broken and it falls into the ground into many shards of Glass, clean them immediately, and while cleaning is being done, keep your dog in a confined place.
Not only swallowing but even walking on those broken pieces of Glass can damage both dogs and humans.
2. Keep Glass-made Materials Out of the Dog’s Reach.
Dogs are energetic and playful, irrespective of their breed. Every dog can jump high and can reach any object they feel attracted towards.
Keep any glass body or glass-made materials as far away from them as possible.
3. Carefully Deal with Christmas Ornaments
Dogs and other pets are very attracted to the Christmas tree as they have bells and other shiny materials attached to them.
Try and either keep the Christmas tree out of your dog’s reach or choose some nontoxic and nonglassy materials for it.
Yes, dogs can survive glass indigestion. However, if they display any above-mentioned symptoms, immediately provide medical care to them.
While there is no exact time frame for this, it depends on the size, piece of the Glass, and dog breed. They may get sick right after the ingestion or after a couple of days. There is no exact time frame.
No, inducing vomiting is strictly not advised for the dog’s well-being. Vomiting after eating Glass can damage the esophagus and other internal parts and can be fatal.
Knowing and being ready for any accidents is essential, especially concerning your pet’s concern.
Throughout this article, I have highlighted the issues caused in dogs by glass indigestion and what should be done if your dog eats a glass.
This read also helps in knowing the tips to prevent dogs from eating glasses or getting anyway near them.
Make sure to reach your veterinarian if things get serious and seek immediate medical help. Till then, take care of your canine partners.
Dr. Lillian is a D.V.M. passionate about promoting awareness of dogs. She shares her expertise through her blogs on canineweekly.com and provides animal care services, including internal medicine, dermatology, and emergency care. Dr. Lillian is committed to contributing to animal welfare.