Here’s What to Do (Vet Answer) – Dogster

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If you’re missing a condom and suspect your dog has eaten it, don’t panic. Dogs will eat all sorts of harmless and dangerous things; thankfully, most cases of condom ingestion don’t result in any issues.

Having said that, you might be left wondering a few things. Why do dogs eat condoms? And what are the signs that you should be watching for? Read on to find out!

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Why Do Dogs Eat Condoms?

This is a good question. Ask most vets about the foreign materials they’ve recovered from dogs’ stomachs, and you’ll likely receive a long list of strange and wonderful things—underpants, tennis balls, batteries…you get the idea. This does beg the question—why do dogs eat these things? And why would a dog eat a condom?

We’ve listed some possible reasons below:

  • Nutritional deficiencies
  • Boredom (something to chew on)
  • Anxiety (a way to relieve stress)
  • Habit (never learned not to)
  • Curiosity (just being inquisitive)

Remember too, that some condoms are flavored or scented, and dogs have an incredible sense of smell. This might make condoms particularly appealing to dogs.

Pink opened condom
Image Credit: Elena Verba, Shutterstock

What Issues Can a Condom Cause?

While most condoms will pass through the digestive tract without causing major issues, small-breed dogs or dogs that have eaten multiple condoms may be more likely to develop problems. This is because they have smaller stomachs and bowels, putting them at greater risk of intestinal blockage or obstruction.

Possible risks:

  • Irritation of the esophagus (particularly if swallowed in its packet)
  • Blockage of the stomach or intestines
  • Temporary vomiting and diarrhea (gut upset)
  • Straining to defecate
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite

When Should I Be Worried?

Generally speaking, you should only be worried if you have a small breed dog, or if your dog is showing signs of being unwell. If you have a small breed dog, the risk of the condom causing a blockage in the digestive tract is higher. A blockage of the digestive tract is an emergency that will require exploratory surgery to be removed. For these reasons, contacting a veterinarian is a safe bet.

Vets are able to give medications to induce vomiting, which will hopefully get rid of the condom before it can cause issues down the line. Similarly, if your dog is showing signs of being unwell, such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, or reduced appetite, you should seek veterinary attention.

sad golden retriever dog beside food bowl on the floor with no appetite
Image Credit: Phuttharak, Shutterstock

My Dog Ate a Condom but Seems Fine – What Should I Do?

If your dog has eaten a condom but is not showing any signs of being unwell, it’s reasonable to wait and monitor closely. If this is the case, we have some homework for you. You’ll need to check each and every one of your dog’s stools to ensure the condom is passed. This may take up to 48 hours.

Additionally, you should be feeding your dog bland food, such as kibble or cooked chicken and rice, and watching for any signs of lethargy, vomiting, or diarrhea. We do not recommend making your dog vomit at home, as this is associated with significant risks unless it is an absolute last resort.

My Dog Ate a Condom and Seems Sick – What Should I Do?

If you think your dog has eaten a condom, or you saw it happen, and they are now showing signs of being unwell, don’t hesitate to contact your veterinarian. This could be a sign that the condom has caused a gut upset or a blockage, and your dog may need medical help. Within 4 hours of the condom ingestion, your vet may recommend inducing vomiting. If not, blood tests and X-rays may be useful screening tests to assess your dog’s health and check for evidence of an intestinal blockage.

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Conclusion

Ingestion of a condom is usually more of a nuisance than anything else. Most of the time, the reason why your dog has done it will remain a mystery. If you want the condom out of the stomach to avoid possible issues, it’s best to arrange a consultation with a veterinarian. If you have a medium or large-breed dog, and he or she seems completely fine, it’s okay to wait and monitor closely.

If your dog is showing any signs of being unwell, particularly vomiting and/or diarrhea, we recommend contacting your vet. And, lastly, while it may seem embarrassing, always be honest with your vet about what happened, as this will give them the information they need to help your canine friend.


Featured Image Credit: Anqa, Pixabay



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