Did you catch your dog in the act of eating tampon or suspected he has? Gory it must have been for you. The truth is, eating tampon or any other female hygienic product is dangerous to your dog’s health, and if he is not properly examined and treated, he may develop further complications.
“But why would my dog even think of devouring tampons,” you ask?
The reasons are long, petty, and no one’s thoughts would have gone there in the first place; we will get to all that - as well as how to stop the habit - later in this article.
If your dog ate tampons, he definitely needs saving, and here are the things you need to do quickly to salvage the situation and avoid complications that could erupt.
What to Do When Your Dog Eats Tampons
1. Examine How Many Tampons Were Eaten
First things first, figure out how many tampons he has eaten. Why is this necessary? Not all dogs will get sick or be in great danger when they eat tampons.
A single tampon may not pose much risk to your dog, especially if he is a large breed with intimidating size. A big dog means a big digestive tract, so a single tampon will most likely be easily processed in his system and then excreted later, properly mixed with his poop.
On the other hand, two or more tampons will be difficult for your dog to digest, thereby resulting in blockages 'here and there” in his system and, even worse, his digestive tract.
The number of tampons eaten determines the danger in which your dog is. If you aren’t sure about how many tampons he ate, you can check the pack to see how many are left there, as well as how many have been used; with this, do the math and you should be able to figure out how many tampons your dog consumed.
If your dog ate bloody tampons, check the toilet waste bin and see how many are left there and in the pack.
All in all, knowing the number of tampons will give you an idea of the possible danger that looms.
2. Pay Close Attention to Your Dog After Tampon Ingestion
If taking your dog to a vet immediately isn’t a viable option, do well to monitor your dog closely after the incident. He may fall sick and may not, depending on if he was able to digest the tampons and excrete them later.
It may take some days for your dog to begin showing signs of falling sick, so taking him to a vet immediately is the better option to streamline the possible danger he’s exposed to.
3. Take Your Dog to A Vet
If your dog ate multiple used tampons and you aren’t sure about how many he swallowed, your best bet is to take him to a vet for proper checking, especially if you have noticed some oddity in his countenance or overall health. More importantly, taking him to see a vet could also be to remove the ones he has swallowed already.
At a veterinarian's lab, you’ll need to provide certain information about your dog, some of which could be how long he has eaten the tampon if he has developed any symptoms since then, and so on.
After this, the veterinarian will thoroughly examine your dog to see if the tampons are trapped or have been digested. If the tampons are already causing a blockage in your dog’s intestine, the vet will, with the help of an endoscope, try to see how far the tampons have gone and where they are trapped in his stomach.
An endoscope is a tiny tube with a camera lens at the tip; it will portray your dog’s orifice and canal on a monitor.
If your dog ate a sanitary pad, an endoscope may not suffice in detecting where it is trapped, in which case an x-ray scan may be needed. Whichever method is used, the tampons will have to be removed if your dog hasn’t digested them, of which the options are to induce vomiting or carry out a surgery.
Emetic medication will be administered to your dog to trigger the vomiting which will disinter the tampons. Surgery will be needed to remove the tampons when they have caused severe blockages that are fatal to your dog’s health.
How Does Eating Tampon Affect Your Dog
Talking about the aftermaths of eating female hygienic products such as tampons or diapers, the truth is that the blood from used ones won’t really harm your dog; after all, he is just a carnivore like you. It is the components of the tampons that can be life-threatening to your dog.
Tampons are made with fiber, cotton, or other absorbent material. These materials, when mixed with your dog’s stomach acids or fluids, will begin to swell. As a result, they will become difficult for your dog’s digestive tract to process, thereby causing blockages in the intestines.
These blockages mean the flow of gas, as well as that of blood and fluid, will be obstructed. Even worse, the blockages can extend to the oesophagus if the dog ate feminine pad, and the entire situation can be very painful for your dog and make him feel uncomfortable.
When it’s all said and done, all these may ultimately lead to Necrosis , a condition where all the cells in an organ or tissue die due to the failure of blood supply (a reason why you should prevent your dog from swallowing tampons at all cost).
Another thing worth taking note of is that it may take time for your dog to begin showing signs of having a blockage in his system; usually, this may take up to four days, so you must pay a close watch after the incident.
In addition, it might interest you to know that the chances of blockages happening in your dog’s intestine are lesser if he ingested used tampons as opposed to fresh ones.
How is this possible?
An already used tampon has absorbed blood, meaning it is moist and has been softened greatly. For this reason, it won’t swell any further when it mixes with your dog’s intestinal fluid, and it will digest more easily.
On the other hand, unused tampons will not only be difficult for your dog to swallow and ultimately digest, it will also swell further when it mixes with intestinal acids, thereby causing a blockage.
Factors That Determine Complications of Eating Used Tampons
While many dogs can suffer great complications and get sick from eating tampons, certain factors still need to be put into consideration to determine if your dog is exposed to any health risks; this is because not all dogs will fall sick from eating tampons.
Factors to consider:
1. Your Dog’s Size
No doubt, large dog breeds will most likely take a tampon like a bullet, with almost no blockage happening in their intestine. On the flip side, puppies will find it difficult to digest a tampon as they have smaller digestive tracts, thereby causing a blockage that will be disruptive to the flow of blood in their internals.
2. Number of Tampons consumed
As pointed out earlier in this article, ascertain the number of tampons your dog ingested to know the risks he is exposed to. Certainly, a single tampon will most likely be digested and won’t cause any harm.
3. Contents of the Digestive Tract
What’s in your dog’s digestive tract— the amount of fat, water, fiber—and as at the time he ate the tampons will determine if the tampons will pass through without any hiccups.
Symptoms to Look Out for When Your Dog Eats Tampons
- Scooting difficulty
- Abdominal pain and swelling
- Nausea and continual go
- Loss of appetite
- Extreme fatigue and drowsiness
- Intestinal disturbances
Although many of these symptoms are pretty difficult to notice, paying close attention to your dog after he consumed the tampons will help in detecting them earlier.
Why Do Dogs Eat Tampon?
Now that you understand the dangers associated with your dog eating tampons, you’ll be prompted to ponder why they indulge in such habit in the first place.
- To start with, the olfactory cells in dogs are thousand-times that of humans; with this, they have a strong smell sense and can perceive just about anything a few meters away. Given this, your dog’s smell attention could have been brought to the used tampons in the toilet bin out of curiosity. It’s probably his first time smelling human blood.
- Subsequently, Pica Syndrome could be responsible  for your dog eating a used tampon. This condition is characterized by a craving for non-edible substances of all sorts. While the condition is more common among puppies, your grown, adult dog could be dealing with it still, thereby causing him to eat tampons. In this case, Pica Syndrome condition will have to be managed and greatly streamlined to avoid another tampon eating spree.
- Loneliness, as well as lack of activities that your dog can delve into, can also cause him to chew inedible things such as female pads. When your dog is feeling lonely and neglected, he may deliberately chew odd things, which tampons come off as, to get your attention back again. Dogs do this with fresh, unused tampons. When this is the case, he won’t swallow many of the tampons, he will only chew most of them to shreds, with only a few accidentally—or with his intention—going down his throat.
At times, it may just be the sight of blood on the tampon that’s making your dog deem it as something edible.
How to Stop and Prevent Your Dog From Eating Tampon
The best way to stop your dog from eating tampons is to keep the tampons out of sight all the time. Be that as it may, there are a few options that work great for me personally. They are as follows:
1. Dump Used Tampons in Pet-proof Trash Can
There are a ton of trash cans in the market that are built to make accessing the contents difficult for dogs. They are usually tall and have a closed opening that can only be accessed by you. You can place one in the toilet or anywhere in the house. Here's a popular choice on Amazon
2. Use a Dog Repellant Spray
A dog repellant spray can repulse your dog pretty much well and keep him at bay. If you already own a regular trash can, spray on the body of the can and its contents, used sanitary pads and tampons inclusive. Otherwise, you can spray the repellant on the pack of fresh, unused tampons as well. Your dog won’t want to move an inch closer whenever he perceives it.
3. Tie Used Tampons in a Bag
What draws your dog to a used tampon is its smell, but if you tie it in a polythene bag before discarding off into a trash can, the smell won’t get to your dog.
4. Close the Bathroom Always
While this may be difficult for some people for reasons best know to them, leaving the bathroom door closed at all times will prevent him from going in and eat a used tampon left there.
As we sum this article all up, you must have understood the grave consequences that come after your dog ate tampon, and on no account should you discard a used tampon carelessly in the house; the same applies to other female hygiene products such as sanitary pads and even baby diapers. Our pooches deserve protection as they can’t really help themselves.
Ever had an experience akin to this? How did you deal with it? And what were the greatest challenges? Let us know below in the comments section.