For most pet owners, the worst part of owning a dog is having to deal with their eccentricities and accidents. For example, dogs can be obsessive eaters, and some have been known to gobble down everything from shoes (and the feet wearing them) to batteries—and that’s just plain bad for them.
What are the symptoms of a battery ingestion?
If your dog ingests a battery, you may notice the following symptoms:
- Excessive drooling
- Redness around the mouth (signaling irritation of the esophagus)
- Fever and lethargy (signaling an infection)
If you see any of these signs in your pet, bring him or her to a veterinarian immediately. If not treated right away, batteries can cause serious problems, including abdominal pain that can cause vomiting and/or diarrhea; blockage of blood flow in major organs like the heart or liver; inflammation of both upper and lower intestines; perforation of intestines or stomach lining resulting in a life-threatening infection; shock (if blood flow is blocked); respiratory distress resulting from fluid buildup around lungs
Why is it so dangerous if your dog ingests a battery?
If you do discover your dog has eaten a battery, the first thing you should do is get it to the vet. The vet will need to determine which type of battery is involved and whether any damage has been done to your dog’s internal organs.
- Batteries can cause burns and ulcers on the lining of your dog’s esophagus and stomach.
- A button cell battery can also perforate these organs without causing much external damage at all. It’s therefore not always obvious that a battery has caused internal damage until things start going south (such as vomiting blood).
What you should do if you think your dog ate a battery.
If you think your dog ate a battery, call your vet immediately. The sooner you call, the better. Even if you aren’t sure if your dog ate a battery or what time it happened, it’s still best to make that call—your vet will help determine whether or not he/she needs to go in for an x-ray and/or surgery. If there are batteries in his/her stomach, he/she could suffer from serious internal injuries. It is also critical that vets know how many batteries were ingested so they can treat accordingly.
If possible, try and find out approximately when the incident occurred so they can tell you what procedure is necessary at this stage: whether or not surgery should be performed right away and if so which one. If there are any signs of distress in addition to ingesting batteries (vomiting blood or straining excessively) then visit the emergency room immediately!
How much does it cost to treat my dog for battery ingestion?
The cost of treatment for battery ingestion will vary depending on your dog’s size, the type of battery eaten and the severity of the condition. If surgery is needed, it can cost up to $3,000. If an X-ray is required, this can add another $200 or more to your bill. Your vet may also ask you to bring in special types of food while they monitor your pet’s health before they determine what course of action should be taken next.
We want to leave you with one final thought. If you’re ever concerned about your dog, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. While battery ingestion is a serious concern, other seemingly minor health issues can also turn into emergencies if left untreated for long enough. If you suspect that something’s wrong but aren’t sure if it warrants an emergency vet visit, we recommend giving your local clinic a call—even if it ends up being nothing more than a false alarm (or just bad gas). Trust us; they’d rather have you bring in your pup than risk letting something go unchecked.