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Dog Swallowed Object
How a Towel Killed my Dog

by Randy
(USA)

I just lost my 9 year old Belgian after he swallowed a few pieces of a blue bath towel sold by Wal-Mart, imported from Pakistan.


It started late Thursday night with vomiting, took him in for an exam Saturday morning as he continued vomiting and went off food and water Friday.

Vet and I both examined the towel and didn't feel there was any way the small amount missing could cause a blockage, he palpated and said the spleen seemed to be enlarged- indicating maybe hemangeosarcoma.

As the dog needed some dental cleaning I thought maybe there was a bacterial issue there, so we tried a 3 day shot of antibiotics.

Diarrhea started around that time- just total liquid

Monday morning I took him back and he was in worse condition, off food/water, vomiting and continued diarrhea. His temperature was 100.4, heart strong and normal so I said lets do the surgery to open his stomach and also examine the spleen which was said to be enlarged.

We opened the stomach and there was a wad of the towel completely blocking the outlet of the stomach, that was removed and he was closed up. We smiled at the good fortune it wasn't cancer.

They gave him a lactated ringers drip, and polyflex injection and I took him home 3 hours later awake but still out of it and unable to walk.

Diarrhea continued- mostly just leaking out, but vomiting had stopped. I let him rest comfortably and checked on him every few minutes and saw he changed position but didn't touch the water.

I went to bed at 2 AM and he was still resting, awake, alert but lethargic and of course still groggy from the anesthesia and post surgical pain but turned his head and looked when I walked in the room to check on him up till that point.

Only thing that concerned me was he seemed to lack much of a blink response at all, but since he had ointment put in them during the surgery I wasn't concerned about the corneas drying out, they looked moist and normal. He wasn't panting or anything and just kept his jaw shut, so I wasn't seeing anything indicating distress or breathing issues.

I got up at 8:30 and fully expected to see him alert, awake, and probably a huge puddle of urine and worse, instead he was still laying in the same position he was in at 2 AM and his jaw was open and that's when I knew he died sometime after I went to bed.

I believe he died between 4 and 5 AM as he was already cool to the touch and a fair amount of urine that leaked out was mostly dry on the tile floor.

This is so sad of an accident, but my vet and I both feel something in the blue dye in the towel may have reacted with the stomach acid and produced a toxic by-product. I have the towel and plan to send samples somewhere for testing.

My dog never chewed things up, even as a puppy he was gentle with toys, but for some reason he ate part of this towel, goes to show how letting your guard down can cause death when you least expect it.

Editor Comment on Dog Swallowed Object

Thank you for sharing this story. Hopefully it will help other owners who experience an issue similar to yours such as when a dog swallows a sock or other object. We are sorry for the loss of your dog.


Comments for Dog Swallowed Object
How a Towel Killed my Dog

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Feb 07, 2015
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My Dog Ate a Tea Towel and is in Critical Condition NEW
by: Elizabeth

All these testimonials are so sad and worrisome. My 11-months Newfypoo ate a tea towel and it became lodged in her stomach and small intestine. I'm very fortunate that my vet followed his intuition and insisted he open her up. The towel both tore and bound tissues in her stomach and gut, causing necrosis and leakage. He resectioned 3 separate areas and did his best to close the leaks and flush her abdomin. However, he noted that the towel "behaved like a saw," cutting the tissue and causing adhesions as it hung up in the structures of her gut and that such trauma often proves fatal despite the surgery and medications. She's still in hospital and in critical condition as I write this, and she won't be "safe" from system failure and shock until 5 days have passed. My husband is furious with me because the bill now stands at $5,200 and there is no guarantee that the dog won't succumb to her injuries anyway. Thanks for letting me vent. I wish there was more information out there about the dangers our dogs face from eating terry cloth.

Feb 07, 2015
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My Dog Ate a Tea Towel and is in Critical Condition NEW
by: Elizabeth

All these testimonials are so sad and worrisome. My 11-months Newfypoo ate a tea towel and it became lodged in her stomach and small intestine. I'm very fortunate that my vet followed his intuition and insisted he open her up. The towel both tore and bound tissues in her stomach and gut, causing necrosis and leakage. He resectioned 3 separate areas and did his best to close the leaks and flush her abdomin. However, he noted that the towel "behaved like a saw," cutting the tissue and causing adhesions as it hung up in the structures of her gut and that such trauma often proves fatal despite the surgery and medications. She's still in hospital and in critical condition as I write this, and she won't be "safe" from system failure and shock until 5 days have passed. My husband is furious with me because the bill now stands at $5,200 and there is no guarantee that the dog won't succumb to her injuries anyway. Thanks for letting me vent. I wish there was more information out there about the dangers our dogs face from eating terry cloth.

Sep 06, 2014
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Lab results? NEW
by: Anonymous

Randy - did you ever take the towel for testing. I have a similar issue with my 15-yr old dog. He ate part of one of those same blue towels (Walmart blue brim Pakistan), has thrown most or all of it up, but is now confused and lethargic. Drinking tons of water, but no food and I haven't seen him urinate or deficate. At his age, it could be almost anything, or maybe some side effect from the towel episode. Exploratory surgery seems crazy with an almost 16-yr old who is already on his way out. I will probably take him to the vet this morning, but was shocked to find your post, and am interested in any findings. Thanks. :-(

Dec 27, 2012
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My dog chewed towel and died NEW
by: susan

Hello sorry about your dog, i know the feeling as similar thing happened to me , i lost my dog on christmas day at around 8pm, he had swallowed a towel that was in his room by my careless mistake, he started vomitting and passing waterly stool and wont keep his food down, this started on 23rd, i took him to vet on 24th but he died, similar to ur dog, how i had kept watching him every few seconds, then on 25th about 7.40 i went to check on him n he wasnt moving, i had a really bad feeling so i went to get a big jacket so i can hold him but when i came back a few minutes later he was dead,worse xmas ever, i couldnt even celebrate or eat after that, all ive been doing is moan him i miss him soo much and my 2 yr old daughter keep asking me mommy where is cash .

Mar 02, 2011
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Heartbroken
by: Bella

My foster dog died Tuesday morning b/c of an obstruction. An Xray showed a blockage in his stomach on Sat 3/26. The Doc's orders were to give him 2tbsp of vegetable oil twice a day and puree of chkn/rice plus some pedialyte. On Monday I was ready to request surgery but the Xray showed a clean stomach. I couldn't believe it. It seemed like a good sign but I still wondered its whereabouts. Fluids, vitamin b12, penicillin and metronidazole was given that night. He didn't blink, he was zoned out. He cried out like he was in pain and it broke my heart. I felt helpless. He layed in the crate and liquid diarrhea came out. I knew then it wasn't a bad sign. I talked to him and tried to get his attention. What I thought was vomiting ended up being his tongue then his front legs slowly stiffened and I cried out to him. My baby died at 6:20 am the next day as I watched in disbelief. Is there any way to look at the intestines via Xray in order to see the damage? Would surgery have saved him? I feel like I failed him because he died.

Oct 27, 2010
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Thanks For Sharing
by: Anonymous

Thank you so much for sharing your story. My Dog having similar symptoms. I have been to two vets so far and am going to the Internist tomorrow.

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