My Dog Ate a Gauze Pad: What To Do?

Dogs love prying and munching things they shouldn’t. You will not believe the bizarre stories from pet owners about unusual stuff their dogs ate. Most of these incidents are not harmful to the canines. However, care at the right time saves a lot of dogs from unknown fatal consequences. 

Do you have such stories to share? Did your dog eat any object that left you worried sick? Was a gauze pad one among them? Well, if you don’t know what to do if your dog ate a gauze pad, we are here to help you.

What Should You Do If Your Dog Ate a Gauze Pad? 

Monitoring dogs is a demanding job. You have to constantly watch them like a hawk to prevent any bad stuff from going into their mouth. However, it is not feasible to happen every day. 

So, if your dog ate a gauze pad, you can follow some first-aid-like steps to prevent the situation from getting worse. 

1. Stop Them From Swallowing

Gauze pads are of many sizes. If you find your dog chewing on one, the first sensible thing would be to stop them right there. Gauze pads do not break down, and hence dogs try to swallow them as a whole. 

If it is a big one, you still have time to pull it out of their mouth. However, small ones reach the inside pretty easily. In such cases, do not rush to put your hand inside and dig them out.

Also, have some dog-friendly exclusive lines to warn your dogs when they put unnecessary stuff in their mouth. You can achieve the response from your canines with ample practice. 

2. Induce Vomit

If you had no success in stopping them from swallowing, the next step would be to induce vomit. While it does not sound good, it is the best way to remove foreign objects from your playful furry pal’s stomach. The other reason to make your dog vomit is to prevent any other serious problems like an intestinal blockage. 

Experts advice states that dog owners can administer 1 teaspoon of Hydrogen Peroxide for every 5 pounds of dog’s weight. Wait for 15 minutes before trying a second dose. Also, remember to not overdose your dog with Hydrogen Peroxide as it can have serious consequences. 

3. Help Dog in Passing Stool

You can also try feeding the dog with fiber-rich foods like bread soaked in pumpkin puree to soften their bowel movements. Also, these foods help relieve the foreign object through poop faster than expected. 

However, if the gauze pad is big, have a look at their poop to understand if the entire piece has come out. Else, the possibilities of the gauze pad creating obstructions are many. 

4. See If Symptoms Develop

When you are not comfortable with either of these methods, it is better to let nature take its own course. Moreover, without any special foods, dogs can pass normally the swallowed gauze pad. 

Meanwhile, try to look if any threatening/persisting symptoms develop. Watch out for common symptoms like vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, etc. The signs usually take around 24 – 48 hours to develop. Also, try contacting your vet if none of them go away. 

5. Contact Your Vet

All these methods help to provide comfort to your dog when in distress. If none of these work out or you are clueless about the situation, do not hesitate to talk to your vet at once.

Diagnosis and treatment at the right time save many dogs’ lives. Additionally, try informing the vet of all the details about the time of ingestion, the number, and size of the gauze pad, etc. 

It helps a lot in understanding the gravity of the problem. 

What Happens When Dogs Eat Gauze Pad?

Gauze pads pass through the dog’s stomach to the bowel and come out via poop/vomit. As per this page, gauze looks like fabric and does not disintegrate into pieces. Hence, the gauze pads are not troublesome when ingested for dogs at face value. 

While the entire thing sounds harmless, there are certain things to note when dogs eat gauze pads. 

Gauze pads are soft and do not pose any threat of injuries while swallowing or chewing. They do not have any sharp ends to create trouble for the intestinal/stomach lining. However, the threat remains in the gauze pads creating a blockage. 

Usually, big pieces of gauze pads may obstruct the bowel movement leading to further issues. 

Obstructions are not certain but you never know how your dog might react to foreign objects inside its body.  Your doctor might suggest endoscopy or a small surgery to pull the gauze pad out when the methods of vomiting and pooping don’t work. 

Also, gauze pads can get stuck in the dog’s esophagus and cause choking. These are rare cases but can happen when they are old or too young. Although, do not attempt to pull them out with your bare hands as it can create breakages in the throat’s lining. 

Can a Dog Die From Eating a Gauze Pad?

Choking is a serious problem when left unnoticed. If the gauze pad gets stuck in the throat with nobody around to see, it can become fatal quickly

Another disturbing problem caused by gauze pads is that they are used for covering wounds. Hence, if dogs eat bloody gauze pads, the chances of developing infections are huge. 

Also, gauze pads can have other fluids like puss from wounds that create further trouble in their stomach. These infections create a range of other illnesses that can sometimes become fatal. 

Dogs have the capacity to come unharmed from the event of eating bloodied or infectious gauze pads too. Although, it is better to be safe than sorry. 

Symptoms To Look For After Your Dog Eats Gauze Pad

Dogs can develop symptoms due to the effects of gauze pad ingestion. While most of the signs occur early, your dog is at risk only when they do not go away or are dangerous. 

Let’s look at some symptoms if your dog eats a gauze pad:

  • Incessant vomiting
  • Dehydration due to vomiting
  • Lethargy
  • Weight loss
  • Lack of appetite
  • Pain in the abdomen(especially while touching)
  • Constant whining
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation 
  • Blood in vomit
  • Blood in stool

When you notice something wrong with their vomit or poop, it is better to take them to a vet at once. Else, it might lead to many other damages. 

Also, look for infection-related symptoms like:

  • Fever
  • Sleepy 
  • No interest in eating
  • Sluggishness
  • Labored breathing
  • Foul-smelling discharge 

When the infection occurs in the abdomen, dogs need emergency care or surgery to clear it off. Study their behavior over a period of 24 hours before deciding on the course of action. However, if the signs are urgent, do not hesitate to call your vet for a check-up. 

Once these symptoms begin to show, try to keep your dog comfortable. Do not overfeed them when they show a lack of appetite. Give soft foods to aid digestion. Also, keep them hydrated with a lot of fluids to fight off the sickness. Talk to your vet to give them the medicines prescribed. 

Any sickness needs care and comfort with treatment from a doctor for dogs. Let’s keep our dogs in the best health to get over these episodes easily. 

How To Prevent Your Dog From Eating Gauze Pads Again?

You can also follow some common tips to keep our canines from eating unusual objects, like gauze pads:

  • If you are using gauze pads for medication, remember to close the medicine cabinet well and keep them out of reach of dogs
  • Also, discard the pads safely wrapped in a bag. Do not dispose of it in the open. Dogs love searching the garbage for things to eat. Moreover, avoid keeping the dustbins open and within their sight. 
  • If dogs have gauze pads on their body for medical reasons, make sure they are fastened well. Otherwise, if it is loose, dogs can easily grab and swallow them. 
  • Additionally, once the wound heals, remove the gauze pad at once and throw them away safely. 
  • Make them listen to you with special instructions if you spot them eating non-food items. 
  • Have a count of items that dogs tend to eat out of the blue. This way, you know when something goes missing. It’s not necessary that your furry pal only played mischief, but it is possible. 
  • Also, feed your dog well. Dogs tend to search for stuff to eat when their intake is not enough and leaves them hungry most of the time. Hence, fiber-rich foods that keep them full for a long time helps in keeping canines away from unwanted stuff. 

All these tips can help keep your dogs out of harm’s reach. 

Conclusion: Can a Dog Eat a Gauze Pad?

No, dogs cannot eat gauze pads. While the problems are not serious, things can go out of hand when the symptoms leading to an intestinal blockage are left unnoticed. Moreover, fear of choking is possible when dogs eat long and big gauze pads. 

Also, if they eat used or bloodied gauze pads, the chances of them catching an infection from the pads are high. Try to induce vomit to get the foreign object out or give them fiber-rich foods to help pass them out easily. 

Additionally, if you see them suffer from dangerous symptoms, contact your vet at once to relieve your canine’s ingestion problem.

Disclaimer: This blog should not be considered as being professional pet medical advice. The content published on this blog is for informational purposes only. Please always consult with a licensed and local veterinarian for medical advice.

About Shaun Clarke

Shaun is passionate about pets and animals, especially dogs, cats, and rabbits. He owns a dog and a couple of cats too. He loves visiting wildlife sanctuaries and shares a strong bond with animals. When he is not writing, he loves to do a barbecue in the backyard with his family and friends.