My Pit bull-mix, Morty has chewed up and scarfed down plenty of garments over the years. Everything from t-shirts to underwear to socks. In fact, socks are one of the most common items dogs like to swallow. Thankfully, this hasn’t caused him any serious problems, but that’s not always the case for every pup that snacks on a sock.
While it’s not exactly clear why this happens, dogs are attracted to cloth items and frequently eat them. This can sometimes cause serious health problems for your dog, so it’s important to know what to do after this occurs.
If your dog has swallowed a sock, they may throw it up or it may need to be surgically removed depending on the size of it and how far it’s traveled through their body. If your dog hasn’t thrown up or passed the sock after a couple of days, you should take them to a vet. Keep reading to learn more…
What Happens to the Sock?
Just because your dog ate a sock doesn’t mean that he or she is going to have trouble. There are a few things that can happen. If you have a large dog and the item swallowed is fairly small, like a running sock or just a small piece of a sock, the dog might just throw it up or pass it.
This can occur right away or may happen up to a day or two later. Monitor your dog closely during this time. Any time they have a bowel movement, look at it carefully to see if it contains the sock or pieces of the sock.
In some cases, the sock can become stock in the stomach. When a dog’s stomach empties, the food passes through first and then indigestible objects follow. This means that some items can stay in the dog’s stomach and lead to problems.
Just because a dog is capable of swallowing the sock, does not necessarily mean they will be capable of throwing it up. If the sock is too big to be thrown up or go into the intestine, it will stay in the stomach leading to discomfort. When this occurs, your dog is likely to vomit frequently.
A final outcome is the sock passing through the stomach and going into the intestine where it may cause a blockage. This can be life threatening if not addressed. You’ll need to take your dog to a vet to have the sock removed.
When You’re Not Sure if they Swallowed a Sock
If you didn’t happen to see your dog eating a sock, but suspect they might have, you’ll need to be on the lookout for common symptoms. Vomiting, diarrhea, and/or a lack of appetite could indicate your dog has swallowed a sock or some other type of foreign object.
If you do not notice any of these symptoms, but still strongly suspect your dog has swallowed a sock, you should take them to a vet.
Once you take you dog to the vet, the vet will try to manage this conservatively at first. They may perform an endoscope, which will require sticking a camera down the throat into the stomach.
If the sock is still in your dog’s stomach, it can usually be removed with the endoscope. Not only is this less invasive than surgery, it’s also less traumatic for the dog. It will also give you information about whether the sock is in the stomach or if it’s passed into the intestine.
If the sock has made its way into the intestine, it usually requires surgery to remove it. If you have a large dog, your vet may recommend waiting a few days to see if the dog passes the sock on their own. If it doesn’t come out in a few days or the dog starts to act sick, then it’s probably best to have a surgical intervention.
You should also know, dogs that are prone to eating socks will usually continue to do this. It’s best to avoid leaving socks and other clothing items within reach to prevent this from happening again.