The Dangers of Corn Cobs

Just like many of us, dog's love corn on the cob! While the corn itself is fine for your dog to eat, the cobs can be very dangerous. Your dog cannot digest the solid cob and if swallowed, it can cause an obstruction (blockage) in the intestine. Even small corn cobs or chewed pieces of cob can be a problem.

 

Symptoms of an obstruction can include vomiting, discomfort and loss of appetitie. You may also notice that your dog is passing smaller amounts of faeces/diarrhoea or isn't passing any at all.

 

If you know your dog has eaten a corn cob, please contact the clinic. Depending on the size and volume ingested, you may be asked to monitor your dog closely for signs of obstruction, or surgery may be recommended. If your dog becomes unwell, an x-ray can be done to look for tell-tale signs of an obstruction, such as a build up of gas. Corn cobs don't show up well on x-ray, so the recommendation of surgery is based largely on information from the owner (i.e the owner knows the dog has eaten a corn cob) and the clinical signs of the dog. If an obstruction is left too long, the intestine at the site of the blockage can perforate (tear). A perforation is a life threatening complication which requires emergency surgery.

 

So, as with many things, prevention is better than cure. Refrain from giving your dog the left over corn cobs from dinner and if you put them in the rubbish or compost, ensure your dog can't access them. If your dog does eat a corn cob (or anything else they shouldn't eat), please contact the clinic.