A New Dog Bowel Obstruction Risk You Need to Know About

Bowel obstruction can be caused by silicone baking cups.

Many dogs are extremely food oriented. You know the type: garbage pickers, sandwich stealers, and counter surfers. Anything that smells like food goes down the hatch faster than you could imagine.

Many times, there's no negative repercussion when a dog eats some of your food other than there being less for you. However, there are several occasions when this type of behavior could be seriously detrimental to your dog.

How Can Eating Human Food Harm My Dog?

There are four main ways in which a dog that is prone to stealing or being fed human food can be endangered.

Silicone baking cups eaten by dogs can lodge in the intestines.

The "New" Foreign Body Obstruction Threat

Silicone cupcake liners (and silicone bakeware in general) are being used more commonly by cooks all over America. They're reusable, easily cleaned, non-toxic, and promote even cooking. It's a win-win situation for bakers.

However, the increase in the use of silicone cupcake liners is resulting in cases of dog bowel obstruction. Here's how it happens: a dog jumps on the counter to snatch a cooling cupcake and swallows it whole, liner and all. Veterinarians are now removing more of these liners from dogs' GI tracts.

Signs of Silicone Cupcake Liner Obstruction in Dogs

If your dog ingests and becomes obstructed by a silicone cupcake liner, the signs will be similar to those that occur from any type of gastrointestinal obstruction.

Sometimes an owner is aware that their dog ate a cupcake, liner and all. Other times, they might not have realized that the sweet treat is missing.

Because they are fairly small, liners can also result in a partial obstruction. Some food is getting past the blockage, but not everything. These dogs may have more mild signs than dogs with full obstructions: they may have a decent appetite, vomit more occasionally, and generally not act as ill as dogs with full obstructions. These dogs may be sick for weeks before the problem can be nailed down.

Another scenario that can happen when a dog eats a silicone baking cup is that it stays in the stomach, not causing any real difficulty, for weeks before it finally moves into the intestinal tract and results in an obstruction. The long time period between the ingestion and the signs of illness can make it difficult for an owner to connect the two events, even if they were aware that the dog ate a cupcake.

If your dog is showing any signs of illness, even mild ones, call your veterinarian for instructions. Do not give any human medications to your dog without speaking with your veterinarian first.

Diagnosis of Canine Silicone Cupcake Liner Obstruction

If your dog is showing signs of intestinal obstruction, your veterinarian will diagnose it through a combination of history-taking, examination, and diagnostic tests. Some of the tests that may be run on your dog during the diagnostic period are listed here.

Treatment of Bowel Obstruction in Dogs

Dogs with partial or complete obstruction of the intestinal tract, whether from silicone baking liners or some other object, require surgery to remove the blockage.

If the obstruction has been present for a while, part of the intestine may have lost its blood supply and died. Such intestine will need to be surgically removed along with the foreign object, and the healthy intestine around it sewn together.

Intestine that has died may also rupture, leaking gut contents into the dog's abdomen, resulting in the need for massive surgical rinsing followed by aggressive fluid and antibiotic therapy for the dog.

Prevention of Silicone Cupcake Liner Obstruction in Dogs

If you bake and have a dog, be aware that silicone baking liners can cause an intestinal obstruction when canine family members eat them. Consider paper liners instead.

If you do use silicone baking liners, keep baked goods well out of your dog's reach, even when they have just come out of the oven and are cooling, or restrict your dog's access to the kitchen while the liners are in use.

Always know how many cupcake liners you have and count them to be sure you aren't missing any after you've finished using them. If you can't find a liner or you know that your dog ate one, visit your veterinarian.

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