Not your ear plugs!
Of all things for your dog to eat.
And it’s very concerning.
Especially if they are those hard silicone ones.
But even foam can be troubling too.
So is your dog going to be okay? What do you now need to do, if anything?
Well here is exactly how you should respond.
So, what should you do if your dog has eaten ear plugs? If your dog has eaten ear plugs, contact your vet immediately for professional guidance, even if your dog appears fine. In the meantime, remain calm, remove any ear plug from your dogs mouth and monitor them closely.
What Will Happen To A Dog That Has Eaten Ear Plugs?
The materials in ear plugs, generally foam or silicone, aren’t toxic to dogs.
However, their structure and size can be an issue.
They May Choke
Due to their small size and unusual texture, ear plugs can become lodged in your dog’s throat, posing a serious choking hazard.
If your dog is coughing, gagging, drooling excessively, or showing signs of distress like pawing at the mouth, this could indicate a choking incident.
They May Cause An Obstruction
The ear plugs might expand in your dog’s stomach due to the moisture, making it difficult for them to pass through the digestive system.
In some cases, this can cause a blockage in the intestinal tract, which could be a serious issue requiring immediate veterinary attention.
Signs of this include vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, and changes in bowel movements.
Will A Dog Be Able To Pass Ear Plugs?
It’s possible for a dog to pass ear plugs naturally, depending on the size of the ear plug(s), the materials they are made from, the size of the dog, and their digestive capabilities. However, this isn’t a guarantee nor should be left to chance.
Remember, while we might be hoping for the best, we should always be prepared for the worst.
This is why you should consult a vet.
Even if the ear plug was soft and small.
Don’t take chances here.
Besides, complications may arise hours if not days after.
What To Do If Your Dog Has Eaten A Pair Of Ear Plugs
The moment you discover your dog ate ear plugs, stay calm but act promptly.
Here’s a short guideline of what to do:
- Remove any remaining ear plugs from their mouths (if possible/safe to do so) and also their reach. Sounds obvious, but you will want to prevent them from ingesting more.
- Keep a close eye on your dog, looking out for any signs of discomfort, lethargy, changes in bowel movements, vomiting, or lack of appetite.
- Contact your vet immediately. Even if your dog seems fine, it’s crucial to consult with a professional who can guide you through the situation.
In fact, you can speak with a vet right away through Just Answer. Just start typing below:
What A Vet May Do If Your Dog Has Eaten Ear Plugs
Your vet is equipped with the necessary tools and knowledge to deal with such situations.
After a consultation, your vet may decide to:
Perform A Thorough Examination
Your vet will start with a comprehensive physical examination to assess your dog’s condition and look for signs of discomfort or distress.
This will provide preliminary insights into your dog’s health status.
They will also likely ask you a series of questions in relation to the ear plugs, such as the type, size, style and material.
The more information you can give here, the better.
Perform Imaging Studies
Like X-rays or ultrasound, to determine the location and size of the ear plugs in the digestive system.
If the ear plugs were ingested recently.
However, this isn’t always safe or recommended, depending on the situation.
At the same time, this is not something you should attempt to do yourself.
It requires a very particular technique and close supervision to ensure the situation does not get worse, or other complications arise.
Monitor Your Dog For A Period Of Time
If the ear plugs don’t pose an immediate threat, your vet might choose to wait and see if your dog will pass them naturally.
In serious cases, where the ear plugs cause a blockage or severe discomfort, your vet might recommend surgery to remove them.
How To Support A Dog That Is Recovering From Eating Ear Plugs
After the immediate crisis of your dog eating ear plugs is handled, you might wonder how best to support your dog during recovery.
Here are some strategies that could help:
Follow the Vet’s Instructions
Your vet will provide explicit instructions for your dog’s recovery process, which may include a special diet, rest, medication, or follow-up appointments.
It’s crucial to adhere to these guidelines to ensure your dog heals properly.
Keep Your Dog Comfortable
Whether your dog has had surgery or is simply recuperating from an upset stomach, comfort is key.
Provide a warm, quiet space where your dog can rest uninterrupted. Your presence can also be comforting to your pet.
Continue To Monitor
Watch your dog for any signs of discomfort or abnormal behavior.
Contact your vet if you notice anything unusual. Regular monitoring will help you to respond quickly to any potential complications.
Once your vet gives the green light, reintroduce gentle exercise into your dog’s routine.
This could be short, leashed walks initially, gradually increasing in intensity and duration as your dog regains strength.
Your dog may have special dietary needs during the recovery process.
Provide small, frequent meals and ensure your dog has access to fresh water. Avoid giving treats or foods that could upset their digestive system further.
Tips To Stop Your Dog From Eating Objects Like Ear Plugs Going Forward
To prevent future incidents like your dog eating ear plugs, here are some proactive steps you can take:
Ensure all small, chewable objects like ear plugs are stored securely and out of your dog’s reach.
Dogs are naturally curious, and they can easily mistake such items for chew toys.
Cabinets, drawers, or high shelves can be safe storage places.
Adequate Mental and Physical Stimulation
Often, dogs engage in destructive behavior out of boredom.
Make sure your furry friend gets plenty of exercise and mental stimulation.
This can be through regular walks, playtime, or puzzle toys.
Train your dog to understand and obey commands like “leave it” or “drop it”.
These can be particularly helpful in preventing them from ingesting unwanted objects.
Positive reinforcement training techniques are usually the most effective.
Introduce Safe Chew Toys
Chew toys can satisfy your dog’s natural urge to gnaw and bite, diverting their attention away from inappropriate objects.
Make sure the toys are non-toxic and durable.
If your dog has eaten your ear plugs it’s only natural to panic.
Try not to.
But do act fast.
Get professional medical advice and opinion; as fast as you can.
Remember, early action can make all the difference when your dog ate ear plugs.
Always ensure that your vet is your first point of consultation in such situations.
With their guidance, you can navigate through this ordeal and ensure they safely overcome the ear plugs.
Are foam ear plugs toxic?
Foam ear plugs are not toxic to dogs, though they can cause other complications due to their propensity to swell when they come into contact with water. Choking and intestinal obstruction are possible.
I am a practiced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site I created to share everything I’ve learned about pet ownership over the years and my extensive research along the way.