Dangers for dogs

For weeks Meghann and Bryan Bezdikian wondered what was wrong with their 4-year-old Yorkie, Marley.

"He would just lay around and be in the closet or just anywhere dark," said Meghann. "He started scratching at his head …he was scratching it and ripping off the skin."

When treatment after treatment didn't work, Meghann and Bryan took Marley to a specialist.

A scope sent through Marley's nasal cavity revealed a single blade of grass lodged deep inside.

"It was a little tricky to get out but we did remove it successfully," said Dr. Samantha Murray of CARES in Langhorne.

Marley has since made a complete recovery.

Dr. Murray sees foreign objects swallowed by pets all the time. She says the incidents increase during the holiday season due to more objects lying around and increased activity in and outside the house.

She showed us pictures of dogs and cats who'd eaten bottle caps, pennies, needles, rubber balls, zippers, hunks of rawhide bones and the real kicker is a dog who swallowed a stuffed dog whole!

A foreign object left inside a pet could lead to infection organ complications and eventually even death. Dr. Murray says your first line of defense is prevention.

"It's a good idea if you're not around to supervise them to keep them crated or somewhere where they can't get into trouble," she explained. "And when you're around try to pick up little things they may want to get into."

But unfortunately things do happen so watch out for gagging, vomiting, lethargy and decreased appetite. Any changes in their stool could also be an indication something is wrong. And just like humans, get a second opinion if your dog's treatment isn't working.

"So if it's not getting better you know again it's worth pursuing to find out what is really going on."

As you can imagine procedures to remove objects from inside your pet can be costly. Removal using a scope starts at about a thousand dollars. And surgery jumps that price to 2-thousand dollars or more.

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