• Mountain View Vet Surgery

Why You Shouldn't Feed Corncobs to Dogs...

Many vegetables are great for your dog! Carrots, broccoli, beans, pumpkin and sweet potato provide your beloved pet with vitamins and minerals which are great for overall health, in addition to different kinds of fibre which helps keep the gut bacteria happy and bowel motions regular and consistent.

Vegetables like carrots and broccoli are great for your dog

However, not all vegetables are good for dogs, in fact some can be dangerous and potentially life-threatening. Garlic and onions can cause blood diseases, sultanas can cause renal failure and corncobs can cause gut blockages.

That is what happened to this 6-month old pup. After getting his paws on a tasty corncob he was quick to swallow it whole. By that afternoon he was projectile vomiting and was dehydrating quickly. During consultation, a hard cylindrical mass was felt in the middle of his abdomen, and x-rays confirmed a blockage. In the x-ray below, you can see the corncob stuck in the intestines, and the small intestines filled with gas (a common sign of intestinal blockage).

The issue with corncobs lies in their structure; it breaks down poorly in stomach acid, which allows it to pass entire into the small intestine, and is covered with a rough hull which acts like Velcro on the small intestinal lining. So once it gets stuck, it is impossible to shift. Fluid and gas builds up in front of the corncob and the back pressure causes severe vomiting and pain.

Surgery is required to remove the corncob once it gets stuck otherwise the pressure in the intestines continues to build, the vomiting continues, and life-threatening dehydration and intestinal rupture and/or death can occur.

Luckily the owners were quick to bring the pup in, and surgery was performed that afternoon to remove the obstruction. The puppy recovered well, and corncobs are officially off the menu!

Corncob after surgical removal from the small intestine.

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