WHAT TO DO IF YOUR DOG EATS GLASS (or other small objects)

Permission to cross post:
I can personally vouch for the cotton ball treatment. While I
was at the vet waiting for him to return from lunch a terrified woman
ran in with a litter of puppies who had demolished a wooden crate
along with large open staples. The young vet had taken x-rays which
did show each puppies had swallowed several open staples. He was
preparing them for surgery when my wonderful vet came in and said no
surgery. I watched him wet several cotton balls squeeze out the water
and pop them down their throats. Within 24 hours every staple was
accounted for. This was a lesson I learned in the mid 1960s and have
had to use several times on my brats. I wet the cotton balls and smear
on some liverwurst and they bolt it down and ask for more. Cotton
always comes out with the object safely embedded.


What do you do if your puppy (or mischievous older dog) gets
into your holiday decorations and eats some of the glass ornaments?
This potentially lethal mishap can darken even the brightest holiday

BEFORE the holiday go to a pharmacy & buy a box of cotton balls.
Be sure that you get COTTON balls...not the "cosmetic puffs" that are
made from man-made fibers. Also, buy a quart of half-and-half coffee
cream and put it in the freezer.

Should your dog eat glass ornaments, defrost the half-and-half
and pour some in a bowl. Dip cotton balls into the cream and feed them
to your dog.

Dogs under 10 lbs. should eat 2 balls which you have first torn
into smaller pieces. Dogs 10-50 lbs should eat 3-5 balls and larger
dogs should eat 5-7. You may feed larger dogs an entire cotton ball at
once. Dogs seem to really like these strange "treats" and eat them
readily. As the cotton works its way through the digestive tract it
will find all the glass pieces and wrap itself around them. Even the
teeniest shards of glass will be caught and wrapped in the cotton
fibers and the cotton will protect the intestines from damage by the
glass. Your dog's stools will be really weird for a few days and you
will have to be careful to check for fresh blood or a tarry appearance
to the stool. If either of the latter symptoms appear you should rush
your dog to the vet for a checkup but, in most cases, the dogs will be
just fine.

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Good to know!

Do the cotton balls ever cause an obstruction though I wonder?
I don't think they would, a cosmetic puff on the other hand would probably get stuck.
I will file this away in the "Man am I glad I read that post" file.
I can see me using this at some point in the near future!
What a great thing to know.

Thanks so much Elissa!

The cotton ball remeday has been around for awhile and really does work, a few weeks ago a friends dog swallowed some pins and it worked very successfully. :wink: :D
I wonder where I would buy cotton balls? I've only seen the cosmetic ones.
Joahaeyo wrote:
I wonder where I would buy cotton balls? I've only seen the cosmetic ones.

Same thing-- just make sure you get the ones that are actually made of cotton and not the synthetic stuff.
GREAT IDEA! I will buy some cotton balls today! This really makes sense when you think about it and would not only save a lot of money in vet bills but maybe your Sheepies life.

Now my own story. My Sheepdog (for whatever incomprehensible reason I later found out) walked up to a window and took a rather large bite into a window blind slat. I heard him chewing on something and when I wasn't able to figure out what...confronted him and he just gulped real hard and swallowed (I thought it was a metal bottle cap until I saw it after it was out of him)

It was very late and the vet is far away so I went to Just Answer and gave the situation to the person handling dog stuff that night and they suggested either going to the vet immediately or giving a solution of 5% hydrogen peroxide at 1tbs. per 10 lbs. Given that it had just happened, and I felt that immediate expulsion was the better of really two difficult choices (by the time I made it to a 24 hour vet...and they will not give advice over the phone..it would be in the intestines and really would need surgery...) He had just eaten (got off work late) so there was some other mass and i thought :idea: this object (still thought it was a bottle cap) would be less prone to scratch or tear on the way up rather than down...so it was to the convenience store and then to the dog. Of course, I misread her instructions and gave one ounce per 10 lbs. the Sheepie actually liked the Hydrogen Peroxide and wanted more of it!

About a minute later all was well and the object was out. :lol: I watched him closely for the next day and he was fine. :D In fact he wanted to eat an hour later. As it turns out, this object was not the metal bottle cap I thought and was the window blind slat segment 8O ( that I discovered when trying to figure out the source) which was large enough and shaped such as to have probably required surgery (big and triangular at that)...vet had no problem with it and actually said that is what she would have suggested...given the circumstances and options (neither of which were palatable for me but hey, I live some ways from immediate 24 hr. vet service and something had to be done).

I have started keeping emergency supplies (5% {not the 15% that would do more harm than good!} Hydrogen Peroxide, Benadryl, and now cotton balls) as part of a doggie first aid kit. I even downloaded the doggie CPR document (form this site of course) and keep it handy...

My job requires me to be the first responder to people being injured (usually in traffic accidents) and I have equipment for that so it seems logical to have a doggie first responder kit as well. This kit will now include cotton balls thanks to this post....
Joahaeyo wrote:
I wonder where I would buy cotton balls? I've only seen the cosmetic ones.

I was in the pharmacy yesterday.. They had Cotton ball and it said right on the package 100% real cotton.

7skydive, glad I could pass on the info. :)
Thanks for the brilliant advice...I hope I never need to use it...
Monty ate a plastic decoration about the size of a small gumball - should I be worried? (it was actually a string of ornamental decoration until my nephews got a hold of it and they were everywhere!!)
Don't think a cotton ball would work on a "rope tuggie"....
What a great idea!!! I had never heard of that, but will never forget it. With a 6 month old sheepie, who knows what lies ahead?
Olive oil is also a great lubricant to soak the cotton in. Many people have olive oil but don't have the creamer. The olive oil will also help to move the digestive track along and "grease the wheels" so to speak.
If you have box asparagus in you kitchen, give it to the dog. And it will go around the small pieces of glass, (and make it easy to go out, without any damage.)

Wonderful advice, I will definately store it in my puppy files as Chopin likes to eat things he has never tried before--he once ate his hair brush with all of the pointy comb pins on it--luckily he didn't swallow any of the pins just chewed them and spit but I was scared to death over that and don't want to repeat it.
The cotton ball thing is amaizing!

My parents were out of town so my brother was watching there border collie. They have a pond out at there house so Phil and some of his buddy's decided to go fishing. We use hot dogs cut up into small circles as bait on our lines, and when the boys casted there lines back the dog, spanner, jumped up and swallowed the hot dog! Hook, line and all!

This was not the first time this had happend. We had a sheltie growing up that did it and was rushed to an er vet in the city, where he was opperated on to remove the hook. The second time that happend to the sheltie we were out of town and forgot to warn the dog sitter to lock up the dog before he fishes. A second expensive mistake.

So when Spanner did it, Phil and I freeked! Not only because spanner was in for a long night, but because we new better...

Needless to say the local country vet recommend the cotton ball method. He said it was not the hook he was worried about it was the fishing line. Aparently the intestance will automatically build up a thick wall to created a safe barrier between the hook and outer wall. That thick barrier will push the hook threw to the exit. Now, the line on the other hand, can get very tangled up in the intestants. So, the cotton balls where ment to jumble up the line into a ball and poo it out.

We feed that dog more cotton ball soup than he could stand. I think it took almost 48 hours of poo diving to find that precious ball of cotton and twine.
Wow! I have never heard this before, but I'll definitely keep the tip in mind- especially with a new puppy who eats EVERYTHING & with the holidays fast approaching!

I wonder if the same goes for cats? Maybe, but just smaller pieces of the cotton balls? Anyone know? :)
I can't believe that at 2 1/2 I had to use this...he broke a glass plate and tried to eat it!!!! Not sure if any got ingested but I gave him cotton balls when I learned what happened and please pray all is well with him in the morning and the next few days. He seems completely fine but...of course I will worry for a week. I swear I love him to bits but how many dogs try to eat plates???
I hope all is well, please keep us posted.
he is doing fine, running about as if nothing dangerous ever happened--which I suppose as far as he is concerned it didn't. I'll keep holding my breath and checking his outside droppings for another day or two but I'd guess that the worst is past by now. Thanks for the concern:) It is definately appreciated.
Will the cotton ball trick work with hard plastic hair comb- or hydrogen peroxide better? Happened @ last nite
I would check with your vet on that one. My first reaction would be to not induce vomiting with hydrogen peroxide, but I'm not sure if I'd add cotton balls to try to protect the path on the way out.

Please let us know what happens. I've got my fingers crossed for you.
What an awesome trick. I wonder if this would work on 2 year old humans? lol
UGH I came home today and Rudie had pulled out a chair, hopped on that and pushed the recyling bin off the kitchen table. There were a bunch of bottles in there and some of them broke.

I don't think he ate the glass bottle pieces, but to be safe should I give him the cotton balls? If it happened 8 hours ago will the cotton balls still be effective?
Now I'm reading that cotton balls can cause impaction.... With Rudie's history I don't want to risk that either!!
Its quite a few hours since you posted but I think you probably need to check with your vet.

:crossed: :crossed: for Rudie, how he just ate ok (as far as that goes) stuff.
He seems perfectly fine so I don't think he ate any glass.

He has pooped twice since then with no problems. No blood or straining or anything like that. He ate fine and is drinking water. He did pass a piece of plastic from a food wrapper. :(
Yay Rudie!
:go: Nice advice.......this could so easy happend to a lot of dogs.
:bulb: I have heard that half boiled vegetables can help like the cotton balls.
And that is something we usely got in the house always and it cannot harm the dog in any way.
Half boiled carrots, potatoes, turnips and that kind of vegetables.
Very often the dogs have they favorite vegetable. Then use it.
:cow: An adult oes-girl I knew had eaten a light bulb got this adwise from the vet...
.........and it all came out with the vegetables. :D Poor girl she was bleeding when she pooped it all out. :phew:
However she lived a long and happy life after this traumatic light bulb eating. :banana:
I'm so glad I read this post. I honestly wondered if sometimes my dog was brain dead. I didnt realize with this breed you have to hide everything. I have dogs for years and not have the problems I have had with this one as far as chewing. My dog chewed, broke and swallowed half of a pepper shaker. It scared me but I did the trick my grandmother did on my sis who was a toddler at the time. Lots of bread. He passed it and never showed any blood in the stool. I think it is important to go through your house and safeguard it to same exent that you would for a toddler child. As far as glass bulbs. I have converted to plastic. I urge other pet owners to consider this.
Hey folks sorry to bother you all! I'm new to this site, but not new to dogs. However i have never had a dog eat glass till today. I stepped outside for 15mins to clean up their poo & mess. when i came back in my 3 dogs 5 months old had a candle tore up. The candle was in a glass container which looked like it fell and broke when they tried to get something else on the entertainment center. I picked up a lot of the glass, but one had the bottom part of the candle an glass container in its mouth. There was no blood any were, and they were very excited when i came back in. Love these crazy monkeys but man are they ever testing my last nerve!!!!! They are more then 10 pounds each so I gave them 5 cotton balls each soaked in doggy gravy. I'm nervous because of course after reading this bit of advise and doing it, i then come across a post on another site saying this was bad to do. Is giving them 5 to many im so scared i know what to do. I dont have much money do to loosing my job last week but i also dont want nothing to happen to my babies! Im so scared. Has anyone really tried the cotton ball trick, should i of giving bread in stead???? im going to watch them like a hawk and keep them in there kennels when they arent outside going to the bathroom.
The cotton balls worked when my Winston ate razor blades. He's over 100 lbs and chewed up a package of razors that had the five little blades. The vet took an x-ray and, sure enough, there in his stomach were two blades making an "X".
Use 100% pure cotton balls. My vet had me soak them in milk and feed them to him slowly. He ate them like a pig would eat marshmallows.
This happened right before Christmas a few years ago. We had a lot of snow that winter. I was still finding cotton balls in the grass in the spring.
Nancy, great story! Thanks!

Do you recall how many cotton balls you fed him? Did you ever find the blades in the ones you found in the springtime?
Ron wrote:
Nancy, great story! Thanks!

Do you recall how many cotton balls you fed him? Did you ever find the blades in the ones you found in the springtime?

It was at least 20-30. The vet gave us a bag full. We did spot one one of the blades when doing "poop patrol". I think that the cotton balls all passed through within a few days but given the snow we didn't find some of them for some time. There is an empty lot next to us, to Winston has some space to use.
Good gosh - what if we had to give them bowel surgery every time they swallowed something. Thank god they are large, have huge intestines to pass things. My pup keeps getting tiny rocks. But tiny rocks in = tiny rocks out. Hurry up and GROW. They do grow out of it.
Last night I THOUGHT my dog had eaten some glass splinters of a cheese bowl that had dropped due to her love of cheese, and I found this site so useful that I would like to share what else I found on the topic. German sites recommend SAUERKRAUT for cases like this; they write that the Sauerkraut wraps itself around the object the dog ate.
Another thing on COTTON BALLS: Many health food-type shops have the real stuff, and also ORGANIC cotton balls ...
That's interesting, but I'd stick with the cotton balls. Organic would be nice of course, but whatever you've got as quickly as possible.

Thanks for sharing your story with us. I hope that everything turns out perfectly for your dog.
I dropped and broke a full plate of Chicken Alfredo penne pasta and 2 yr old Oreo immediately scarfed it up. I picked up the 3 plate pieces which fit together nicely and let him finish the mess and cleaned up the goo after that (with no pieces of plate found). It wasn't until morning, 12 hours later, that I discovered there was a 1/2 inch sliver of plate missing, pointed too. I read here about the 100% cotton balls, which I have, but 12 hours later? I am hoping that the pasta itself "wrapped" around the sliver of china during the night. I have no bread in the house so after his crunchies for breakfast I fed Oreo a 1/2 cup of canned plain pumpkin puree which should move things along nicely and unsalted green beans (he certainly got a dose of salt with the pasta).
...I called my vet and he said to just watch him for pain, bleeding or tarry stools.

Cotton is cellulose which is in vegetables and plants, some forms more digestible than others (wood is not for example). Not sure why I am hesitant, but I think it my luck for cotton to cause a blockage, and the reason I used unsalted green beans (I keep these on hand for low cal dog treats). I will be buying and freezing some dinner rolls for the future, just in case. I have always heard of giving bread to kids who might have swallowed something sharp, and no reason it won't help with dogs or cats soaked in tuna, of course.
Actual food items aren't going to wrap around and keep the sharp edges from cutting into the digestive tract. A couple cotton balls is highly unlikely
to block anything and will come out nearly as intact as they went in. You don't want the cotton to be digested, just passed. You want
the sharp to be bound - not digested or pushed through. It doesn't make
sense - bread is easily digestable, just put a wad in water and see.

My dog got into some left over beef which had toothpicks through the rolls. After two days not realizing what happened my shih tzu was very sick. I took him to my vet and he discovered what it was, he said go buy a honey cake lather it with butter and feed him all he will eat, the toothpicks came out, all 3. Thankfully my dog is almost 10 now happy and healthy. Now my English mastiff puppy 4 months old has just broke a glass and before I could get to her , she had a piece I got out of her mouth, I don't think she ate any but just to be sure.How stressful, I'm waiting on a text back from my vet to see if I can give her cotton balls .
Guest wrote:
My dog got into some left over beef which had toothpicks through the rolls. After two days not realizing what happened my shih tzu was very sick. I took him to my vet and he discovered what it was, he said go buy a honey cake lather it with butter and feed him all he will eat, the toothpicks came out, all 3. Thankfully my dog is almost 10 now happy and healthy. Now my English mastiff puppy 4 months old has just broke a glass and before I could get to her , she had a piece I got out of her mouth, I don't think she ate any but just to be sure.How stressful, I'm waiting on a text back from my vet to see if I can give her cotton balls .

:crossed: :crossed: I hope all is well, let us know. :crossed: :crossed:
My puppy chewed up and swallowed bits of a disposable razor. I fed her cotton wool balls and cod liver oil and she was ok.
I hope your pup is ok.
I can't thank you profusely enough for this information. While making breakfast this morning a glass jar of mayo fell from the fridge and shattered. Our husky mix puppy and our blind golden retriever charged in and both got a lick or 2 in before I was able to restrain them. I soaked the cotton balls in a mixture of water and melted butter and they ate them quite enthusiatically.
Thank you, thank you, thank you
Awesome! Now watch them very carefully and if you have ANY concerns, call the vet!
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