So Your Dog Ate A Kebab Stick: Is An Emergency Vet Visit Required?

Dogs are curious little souls, but that curiosity can often get them into trouble! If you have ever heard your dog rifling through the rubbish and not given it a second thought, there are times when chewing on the garbage is a much bigger deal than just giving your pup a telling off! Since your dog is well known for getting into your rubbish bin, it is essential you know what to do if your canine buddy finds kebab sticks to chew. These tasty morsels can create a whole lot of internal trouble, so know what to do if your pup decides to chew!

Why are kebab sticks an issue?

Kebab sticks are a huge attraction to dogs for two reasons:

  1. there are leftover meaty morsels on the stick, and
  2. wood is used to make these sticks.

Dogs equate wood with sticks which you throw during playtime, and they cannot differentiate between the different sized wood in their lives. Once your dog gets the stick out of the trash, they chew them up until they break, and that's when the kebab stick becomes a health issue.

What happens to a kebab stick once chewed?

There are several things which can happen once your dog starts chewing on a wooden kebab stick:

  1. the stick breaks in their mouth and gets lodged in the roof cavity
  2. the stick breaks in their mouth and cuts tongue, gum or cheek
  3. the stick breaks up into small fragments which may enter their stomach

While all three of these scenarios may appear minor medical issues, there are several reasons why you should take your dog to the vet the same day as discovering they have been chewing on the stick.

Why do you need to see a vet?

A vet needs to see your dog at this time for several reasons. Firstly, if part of the stick remains inside the mouth, it could cause anxiety or distress in your pet. It is not uncommon for sticks to get lodged in the roof of the mouth, and the vet needs to remove this since they know how to do so without inflicting any further pain. They can also check the dog's gums and cheeks to ensure no splinters remain in this fleshy part of their mouth.

Secondly, there is now the potential for sharp splinters or small pieces of wood to be lodged internally inside your dog. If the stick punctures part of the stomach or intestines, then your dog is going to need immediate vet intervention. By taking your dog to the vet now, not only can the vet check for signs of immediate distress from the kebab stick, but they can also show you what symptoms you need to look out for in the following few days which are indicators your dog needs to return to them.

Finally, if your dog is one that likes to dig among the rubbish, take wooden kebab sticks straight outside to the bin there, so they don't have a chance to get hold of them. For more information, contact a vet.