If you are a pet owner, you know that life comes with many unexpected moments. Many dogs engage in gross and obscene behaviors, including eating period products like pads and tampons. If your dog eats a tampon, you may wonder what you should do. The information below will help you keep calm if you notice that your pet engaged in this behavior.
My Dog Ate a Tampon
You may wonder why a dog would ever eat something like a tampon. These animals love to chew things (like your underwear), so often, it only wants to interact with something it sees as new.
Sometimes, unfortunately, dogs may swallow the tampons, which is where the real health risks exist.
As mentioned, it is relatively common for dogs to eat period products like tampons. Most of the time, the animal will pass it through its stool. In other instances, swallowing a tampon can lead to several health risks, including digestive issues.
Your dog’s gastrointestinal health should be the focus of your concerns after it eats a tampon. These products absorb liquid, meaning they will remain intact even in the pet’s body. Eventually, the tampon will start to swell, which could damage the lining of your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, leading to more injuries and illnesses.
You must not assume that your dog will remain healthy if it eats a tampon. Take the situation seriously, and do not be afraid to call the veterinarian. Do not get overly worried and stay optimistic, but always keep your dog’s health at the forefront of your mind.
My Dog Ate a Used Tampon
It is better if your dog eats a used tampon, as gross as that may seem. An unused one will help to make the situation more severe. The blood present on the sanitary product already saturated the cotton, meaning it has less of a chance of expanding in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract.
If your dog ate an unused tampon, the cotton begins to swell shortly after. It will absorb the bodily fluids in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract. When the cotton swells, the tampon will not pass as easily. It could lead to a blockage, damage to the gastrointestinal tract, or constipation.
You may wonder if the period blood will cause health risks to your dog. This bodily fluid is normal for your pet, however. Your dog may come over and try to lick you if you get a wound on your body. The saliva acts as a product that can clean the blood and heal the wound.
If your dog is fertile and female, it has to go through heat. This process is the same as a human’s period. When your pet is in heat, they will lick themselves to stay clean. The blood does not harm them or their gastrointestinal tracts.
Dog Ate Tampon, How Long to Pass?
It will only take up to 24 hours for your dog to pass the tampon it ate. Remember, if the product swelled in the gastrointestinal tract, your pet could be constipated. This condition prevents the dog’s ability to defecate and empty its bowels.
If constipation lasts too long, it can develop into an obstruction. Eventually, the build-up will cause the intestines to tear, leading to a potential internal bleed. This condition can lead to more harm and even a need for surgery for your pet. You must call a vet as soon as your dog eats a tampon to prevent this situation.
Some dogs can defecate within 10 hours of eating something. It will depend on your specific animal and the size of the product that they consumed. The body and gastrointestinal tract have to break down the tampon, just like humans.
Some products take months to pass through your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. Watch out for signs of a bowel obstruction at least 72 hours after your pet consumes a tampon. They will look like they are in pain, and you will see no signs of the product in your dog’s poop.
Health Effects from My Dog Eating a Tampon
If your dog ate a tampon, several health effects could follow.
Your pet may experience mild bowel irritation, or it may have some emergency like a bowel obstruction.
If your dog’s consumption of a tampon leads to bowel obstruction, it can result in more debilitating situations. Read more about all of the health risks in the information below.
If your dog consumes a tampon, it will more than likely experience some level of gastrointestinal upset. Any foreign object that is not food can scrape the intestines, leading to redness and pain. If the tampon swells, it can lead to more irritation, including tears.
If the tampon swells, there is a serious chance that your dog will experience a bowel obstruction. The product will get lodged in the intestines, which will block food content from leaving your dog’s gastrointestinal tract. Eventually, this obstruction could lead to serious concerns.
If the bowel obstruction goes untreated, it could become fatal. The blockage will turn into a perforation if the tampon does not get out of the intestines. This condition involves a hole in the wall of the gastrointestinal tract. It could cause internal bleeding and other symptoms.
Before the tampon gets to your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, it could cause it to choke. The string on the product can get lodged in your pet’s throat. Eventually, the dog’s airway can get blocked, leaving it unable to breathe as the tampon remains in its body.
If there is a blockage in your dog’s intestines because of the tampon, its body will not absorb essential nutrients. Eventually, your pet may become dehydrated, leaving them without proper blood circulation. Dehydration can lead to pain and other health conditions, even bringing a risk of death to your dog.
What to Do After Your Dog Eats a Tampon
Now that you know that it is possible that your dog could ingest a tampon, you may wonder what you should do. Do not ignore the risks that exist from the ingestion of this product. It is better to be safe than sorry, especially when considering serious health concerns involving your pet.
Call Your Vet
After your dog eats a tampon, you need to call your veterinarian immediately. After speaking with them, they may advise you to follow home remedies. Veterinarians will more than likely request that you bring your pet into the office for monitoring and treatment.
Take Inventory of the Situation
After your dog eats a tampon, you need to take an inventory of the situation. Look in the trash can or storage area to determine how many of these products your pet consumed.
You need to determine if your pet ate used or unused tampons. If you are not on your period, you can likely assume that the product was new and still in the packaging. If you are, you need to pay attention to the trashcan, noticing if it appears to be in disarray.
Try to garner an estimate of the time when your dog ate the tampon. Consider if you were home when the act occurred, or think about the length of time you were out. This information should give you a range of at least a couple of hours to determine when your dog ate the tampon.
Your vet may recommend that you bring your dog to the office to induce vomiting. They will give the pet an injection to remove foreign objects from the gastrointestinal tract. This medication will ensure that the tampons do not go further down the intestines.
Let Your Vet Take Images
If your dog ate the tampon more than four hours ago, your veterinarian cannot give the medication for induced vomiting. Your veterinarian will perform imaging on your pet’s abdomen, showing a blockage that may exist in the gut. The professionals will determine if you need to monitor the situation or give your dog surgery.
Take the Next Steps
Depending on what your vet says, you can monitor the situation or allow for surgery. You will need to watch to see if the dog continues to drink, eat, and defecate. Otherwise, the veterinarian will need to remove the blockage manually.
Dog Ate Sanitary Pad
As mentioned earlier, your dog may eat sanitary pads. Do not only worry about tampons. These pads are just as dangerous for your dog to consume as any other type of period-related product.
Again, an unused pad is more dangerous than a used one. The former is more likely to expand in your dog’s abdomen, which can lead to a blockage and other gastrointestinal problems, including irritation and tears. A used sanitary pad will have blood that takes up a significant swelling.
If you notice that your dog ate a sanitary pad, you need to call your vet. They will determine if you need to get imaging, induce vomiting, or monitor the situation. Again, it is better to ensure that your dog is safe, and a gastrointestinal blockage can lead to more harm.
Why Do Dogs Eat Period Pads?
Dogs eat sanitary pads and tampons because they want to explore the world around them. They do not have the same level of vision as humans have. Dogs cannot pick up objects they find, inspecting them using touch and similar sensations with their paws.
The best way dogs can find out about the world around them is through their tastebuds and smells. You will notice that these pets sniff almost anything they come into contact with, including sanitary pads and tampons. If it seems as if the product is interesting, they may resort to eating it.
A human’s bodily fluids and genital areas have high levels of pheromones. These chemicals are what dogs want to learn more about, as they can tell them more about their owners. A tampon or sanitary pad is an easy way for these animals to find the chemicals they want to explore.
Prevent Your Dog from Eating a Tampon or Sanitary Pad
You must take as many steps as possible to prevent your dog from consuming another sanitary pad or tampon. You do not want your pet to have to undergo serious health concerns. Remember, consumption of these products can even lead to a risk of death.
To prevent your dog from eating sanitary pads and tampons, you should store unused ones properly. You can place them in a closed cabinet or a storage bin somewhere inaccessible. Dogs, including large breeds, can jump up and open access areas. After, they can rip open the packages to consume the tampon or sanitary pad.
If you have used tampons or sanitary pads during your period, you will need to place them in a secure trashcan. Close the lid so that your dog does not become tempted by the smell. This feature will also prevent your dog from accessing the used products.
If you can, try to keep your dog in a room when you are not at home. This step will prevent its ability to access dangerous products. Make sure you make the room a space where your dog will like being so that it does not develop separation anxiety or other emotional concerns.
What to Do if Your Dog Eats a Tampon
It may seem gross, but your dog may eat tampons or sanitary pads at any time. Unfortunately, these products are dangerous to these pets, especially when unused. The sanitary pad or tampon can expand in your dog’s gastrointestinal tract, leading to bowel obstruction or other health conditions.
If your dog consumes a sanitary pad or tampon, you need to call your veterinarian as soon as possible. These professionals can discuss the next steps you need to take. They can even perform emergency surgery if necessary to save your dog’s life.