In a household, one may have items that may pose a danger to the pets at home. You may not be aware of the inherent risk that lies around you as much as it exists. Knowing the items at home that can be of harm is crucial. You will thus keep them away for the safety of all at home.
One such item is a magnet. The magnets come in different types ranging from those with weak strength (fridge magnets) to strong ones (neodymium). You may have them at home for diverse reasons. Regardless of the purpose, it may still appeal to your dog.
Generally, if your dog eats a single magnet, he may pass it through without difficulties. What happens if he eats over one? What is the best step to take in such a situation? Read on to find out more.
Physiology of Magnet Ingestion
Toxicity is not a primary concern when you are dealing with magnets since they are not poisonous. The dangers they pose are more serious, mainly if your dog eats over one. The principle of attraction plays a significant role. Regardless of where the magnets are within the intestinal tract, they still draw to each other.
What happens inside your dog’s body? Depending on the magnet’s size compared to the dog, it may be a choking hazard. The primary danger is obstruction. Upon ingestion, it lodges on the intestinal tract, causing an obstruction. Another magnet eaten will cause opposite sides to attract.
Picture this scenario. The intestines intertwine spirally on their course. Despite the magnets being on separate ends, they draw to each other. The walls press against each other. Being that the attractions are firm, they hinder blood flow to the intestinal tissues. Continual pressure will cause the perforation of the abdomen.
This incident causes excruciating pain to the dog, but this is not the end. The content in the intestines spill to the abdomen and blood, poisoning it: septic peritonitis results, a bacterial infection. This condition is life-threatening; hence dogs rarely survive for long with it. Emergency surgery is the only way out.
What if the dog ingests a chain of magnets like neodymium in one go? Can they pass through without causing harm? A case study by the Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association revealed an accurate picture. A catastrophic scenario came to view.
While swallowing the magnet, because of its forces of attraction, it attached to itself. It happened at the junction of the intestines and esophagus. The result was perforation of the esophageal wall and spilling of infected fluids to the lungs, causing difficulties in breathing and the lungs’ compression. The abdomen had more perforations too.
If the dog eats a single magnet, he may have a mild stomach upset. However, most dogs pass it out without difficulties. Unless advised by a vet, you should not attempt to induce the dog to vomit. Instead, you can give him some canned pumpkins. It will form a cushioning around the magnet, thus preventing it from irritating the intestinal wall.
Surgery is the best treatment option for magnet ingestion. However, this will work if done before adverse effects take place. An immediate visit to the vet is crucial. He will do a physical examination and do an x-ray to locate the magnets on the intestinal tract.
If during the surgery the vet discovers intestinal perforations, he may remove part of it. Your dog might survive the incident. Even so, he may have to spend a few more days at the clinic for monitoring. Upon discharge, he will need more care from you in a calm environment.
Safety of Magnets at Home
How best can you keep your canine safe if not by keeping your magnets out of his reach? Remember that the same danger can come upon your kids if they swallow the magnets. If the attractions are not vital to you, why not do away with them?
Unlike other items at home, magnets are not toxic. Even so, the harm they can pose to your dog may be fatal. For you to clear off worries, a visit to your vet is crucial if you suspect that he has eaten it. If he ate a single piece, the high chances are that he will survive the experience.
If the dog ate more than one magnet, surgical intervention would be critical. The good news is that the dog can survive if he receives immediate treatment. To prevent a recurrence, you can choose to get rid of magnets from your household.