You left them for one minute. But that didn’t stop them.
Your makeup brush has gone. Or, most of it has
Your dog decided to eat it. And now you’re not only spongeless. Your worried.
Is your dog going to be okay? Is there anything you can/should do?
Well, there is…
So, what should you do if your dog ate a makeup sponge? If your dog ate a makeup sponge, first check their mouth for remnants (remove any that remain if safe to do so), then contact your vet immediately. Be sure to monitor your dog closely and keep them well hydrated in the meantime.
What Happens If A Dog Eats A Makeup Sponge?
They May Choke
Firstly, a dog may choke on a makeup sponge due to its size and texture.
This can happen especially if the dog doesn’t chew properly and attempts to swallow the sponge whole.
Choking presents an immediate danger, as it can obstruct the airway, preventing the dog from breathing normally.
Symptoms to watch out for include excessive drooling, pawing at the mouth, and panicked or distressed behavior.
They May Suffer From Digestive Upset From The Makeup On The Sponge
Then there is what was on the sponge itself.
Makeup can contain a range of chemicals, such as preservatives, fragrances, and colorants, that are all potentially harmful when ingested.
When a dog consumes a makeup-coated sponge, these foreign substances may disturb a dog’s digestive system and gastric irritation.
The resulting digestive upset could lead to a variety of symptoms, including vomiting, diarrhea, decreased appetite, or unusual behavior such as restlessness or lethargy.
It typically resolves in 12-24 hours.
They Could Develop A Gastrointestinal Blockage
A makeup sponge can swell once inside a dog’s stomach, leading to an obstruction in the digestive tract.
And since the material is indigestible, it will need to be eliminated by bowl action alone. This is why there is such concern for you to consult a vet.
This condition may cause severe symptoms like vomiting, decreased appetite, lethargy, and abdominal pain and calls for immediate veterinary intervention.
Can A Dog Pass A Makeup Sponge?
A dog is likely to struggle to pass a makeup sponge due to its materials and ability to swell in the stomach. Even if fragmented or chewed, they are challenging to digest and to swallow.
Due to the risk of a gastrointestinal blockage, getting immediate veterinary attention is the course of action here (as we shall see below).
Depending on the circumstances, a vet may even provide/suggest a small high fibre meal to help move the sponge through.
Though this is not something that you should attempt until you have at least spoken with a professional.
What To Do If Your Dog Has Eaten a Makeup Brush
First and foremost, try not to panic. Keep calm, but act quickly.
Your dog will pick up on your emotions, and if you’re visibly stressed, it could cause them to become anxious as well, which won’t help the situation.
However, keeping calm doesn’t mean being complacent.
You must act quickly, but in a measured way.
Ensure the safety of your dog first by removing any additional sponge that they may still have in their mouth.
From there, check around your dog’s environment for any fragments of the brush that might have been left behind, as these could pose further choking hazards or cause additional ingestion issues.
Once you’ve ensured immediate safety, assess your dog’s condition.
Look for any immediate signs of distress such as choking, difficulty breathing, excessive drooling, or vomiting.
Remember, your observation at this point is crucial for your vet to determine the severity of the situation.
Next, prepare to contact a vet, like you can below:
Collect any pieces of the brush you can find, and take note of details such as its size, shape, and the time of ingestion.
This information will be valuable in helping your vet decide the best course of action.
While it’s a distressing situation, remember that veterinarians are trained to handle such emergencies.
Quick and calm action on your part will greatly assist them in providing your dog the help they need.
What Your Vet May Do If Your Dog Has Eaten a Makeup Brush
If you take your dog to the vet, there are several steps your vet might take to assess and address the situation.
These are, in a typical order:
Initially, your vet will conduct a physical examination.
They will check your dog’s overall condition and look for any signs of discomfort or distress.
The vet will also check for any visible signs of injury inside the mouth or throat.
Use Imaging Techniques
To locate the brush and assess its impact, your vet will use imaging techniques like X-rays or ultrasound.
These methods allow them to see where the brush is lodged, whether it’s causing a blockage, and if it has caused any damage to the digestive tract.
In some cases, if the brush has been ingested recently and it is safe to do so, your vet might choose to induce vomiting.
This is usually done using a specific emetic medication, or in some cases, hydrogen peroxide.
Note that you should never try to induce vomiting at home without instruction and guidance from a vet, as this can cause further harm.
Conduct an Endoscopy
This procedure is done under anesthesia and involves the use of a flexible tube, called an endoscope.
The endoscope has a camera and light attached, allowing the vet to view the dog’s digestive tract in real-time.
The endoscope can be inserted through the mouth or rectum, depending on where the object is lodged.
It’s a minimally invasive procedure and typically doesn’t require incisions.
Additionally, if the brush is within reach and not too large, the endoscope may be equipped with tools that allow the vet to grasp and remove the brush.
However, this depends on the specifics of the situation, including the size and location of the brush, and the overall condition of your dog.
In severe cases where the brush has caused a blockage, perforation, or if it can’t be reached via endoscopy, surgery may be necessary.
This is a more invasive option and is generally considered a last resort when other methods are not feasible or effective.
During surgery, the vet will make an incision into your dog’s abdomen and physically remove the makeup brush from the digestive tract.
They will also assess the area for any damage and repair it as necessary.
Post-surgery, your dog will likely need to stay at the vet for a period of time for observation and recovery, with a special diet, and limited activity often part of the healing process.
Administer Medications and Antibiotics
Post-procedure, your vet might administer various medications.
Pain management and anti-inflammatory drugs can be given to ease any discomfort and reduce inflammation.
If there’s a risk of infection due to perforation, antibiotics will be prescribed.
There’s nothing more concerning to find your dog, having eaten something they clearly shouldn’t.
It’s worrying, for sure.
And while contacting a vet first is the course of action advised here, it is a ‘better safe than sorry’ approach.
Remember, the faster you act here, the better the chances your vet will have at removing the sponge.
And in a less invasive, more natural way.
Sure, there is always the possibility that the sponge may naturally pass through them.
But it’s not guaranteed nor always possible.
Besides, these things are made from indigestible materials and are designed to swell.
And he fact that intestinal blockages can develop in the days following ingestion, a ‘sit and wait’ approach really isn’t the way to go.
I am an experienced pet owner with decades of experience owning a number of different pets, from traditional pets like dogs and cats, to the more exotic like reptiles and rodents. I currently own a Cockapoo (pictured) called Bailey. I am also the main writer and chief editor here at Pet Educate; a site dedicated to sharing evidence-based insights and guidance, based on my vast pet ownership knowledge, experience, and extensive research.