Dogs are extremely curious creatures who will eat whatever they find. Because of this, they can eat something that risks their lives, for example, a battery. What happens when your dog eats a battery? What can you do to help them?
You need to be careful with batteries as they are highly dangerous to your dogs. Chewing them can create a dangerous reaction in their mouths and stomachs when they ingest them.
Why Are Batteries Dangerous?
Batteries are dangerous not only to humans but also dogs. They pose multiple dangers to your dog, including:
Most batteries come in smaller sizes that can easily be ingested. These pose a danger, especially for smaller dogs, as they can lodge in their throats. Your dog might pass out or even die when this happens when you are not around.
Your dog is not out of the woods, even if it manages to swallow the battery. The battery can block their guts, leading to a bowel obstruction. This is a life-threatening situation that puts your dog at risk. It gets increasingly dangerous if the obstruction strains their intestines, causing them to thin and tear.
The obstructed bowel can cause so much pain, so your dog might not be interested in food or water.
The main purpose of batteries is to create electricity; they are not meant to be ingested or come near water or other liquids. The wet conditions in the stomach can create an electrical current that can burn your pup’s insides. The burning can start in the mouth because of the saliva. Inside the stomach, the reaction burns the stomach lining and intestines.
This is a huge risk, especially with a watch or disc batteries that can get pierced easily. The reaction is also fast-acting, so your furry friend can start feeling the effects in under ten minutes. Severe burns can burn a hole through your pup’s gut, which is painful and can lead to death.
The heavy metal combination in batteries makes them corrosive. The reaction between the metals, such as lithium, lead, and cadmium, can leak into your canine friend’s stomach, leading to a dangerous condition known as metal poisoning.
The sulfuric acid and potassium hydroxide in the stomach can poison your pup’s inner lining and blood. This puts your dog at risk of losing the poisoned part of the body. These conditions take effect quickly. Thus, you will need to take quick action and get help for your dog.
Related: Why Does My Dog Eat Everything?
What Symptoms Will Your Dog Show After Eating A Battery?
The battery will move quickly through your dog’s stomach if it doesn’t get stuck in its throat. It can cause chemical burns inside their mouth, leaving your dog with red sores and burns on their tongue and gums. The burns can be even more severe if the battery is pierced and the fluid leaks.
Your dog can start choking, retching, and vomiting as the battery travels along the food pipe. Your dog can also begin to dry heave and refuse to put anything inside its mouth. Severe vomiting indicates heavy chemical poisoning, which worsens the more the chemicals leak.
Sometimes dogs can vomit blood. It will be darker than blood normally is, indicating the damage inside their stomach. They will be uncomfortable and in a lot of pain, and will not want you to touch their stomach. Their stomach can swell in some cases as they become more poisoned.
What To Do After Your Dog Eats A Battery?
Try to find out if the battery is stuck inside their mouth or throat. Remove it as safely as you can; if it is in a more compromised position, take the dog to the vet. Do not attempt to forcefully dislodge it as it can cause further damage.
You should also clear away possible dangers like other batteries or smaller parts they can eat. Ensure your dog has not accidentally ingested other parts, for example, the toy the battery came from.
Try to find out what kind of battery your dog ate and when it was eaten. Determine whether it has eaten one battery or more. To ascertain this, you might need to break the toy or remote that contained the battery.
Contact your veterinarian or the closest vet as soon as you can. Give them as much information about the incident as you can. The vet will advise you of the possible remedies you can take to save your dog on your way to the clinic. Do not make any of these decisions yourself.
Follow your vet’s advice as closely as possible. Sticking to their instructions improves your pup’s chances of surviving the situation.
You should also thoroughly wash your hands, especially if you touched the batteries. The chemicals might have leaked onto your hands, and touching your dog can increase the poisoning.
Treatment Options For A Dog Who Ate A Battery
Your veterinarian will choose the best way forward after evaluating the information you give them. They will use it to find the correct method of treatment, which includes:
The veterinarian can try to induce vomiting. They might inject your dog or feed them a solution that forces them to bring the item out of their system.
Do not force your dog to vomit at home. This can end badly, causing more problems than the battery would have.
Diluting The Acid
The vet will check your dog’s mouth and intestines for signs of chemical damage or burns. If there are any, they will try to dilute the acid and other chemicals to prevent them from further harming your dog.
If you cannot find a veterinarian, find areas with a high concentration of the chemicals, such as the eyes and mouth. Flush these areas with clean tap water. Also, try rinsing your dog’s mouth. Be as gentle as you can, as they might be uncomfortable or in too much pain.
Taking An X-Ray
The vet might need to x-ray your dog’s stomach. The results enable them to identify the battery’s type, shape, and location. It can also show them if the battery is leaking. This can help the vet formulate a much better plan of action.
The veterinarian might decide not to take any urgent actions if the x-ray reveals the battery is intact and not leaking. If there is no immediate danger to your pup, they might request you closely monitor your dog’s situation.
You might need to wait until the battery is safely and naturally out of your dog’s stomach. It may come out in one piece or several parts. Keep your vet up to date to ensure nothing goes wrong.
Surgery might be necessary if the battery obstructs the dog’s bowel. The vet might also decide it is essential if there are other risks with waiting for it to pass. The surgery is a standard procedure and will not put your pup’s life at risk. This needs to be done as early as possible; an earlier intervention improves the chances of your dog making a full recovery.
Can Dogs Die from Ingesting A Battery?
Sadly, your dog can die if it eats a battery. Chemical and electrical burns, metal poisoning, and bowel obstruction can result in the passing of your best friend. The reactions can be swift, and your dog can die within 24 hours.
These risks are the reason why you need to get veterinary assistance asap. Looping the vet in early gives them a better chance of saving your dog, reducing the consequences and complications caused by the battery.
Your dog should not eat batteries, as the consequences can be painful to deal with. If it happens without your knowledge, get them to the vet as soon as you get wind of it.
Store batteries and similar objects in areas your pup cannot easily reach to reduce their chances of eating one.