Insulation is often necessary if not a fundamental part of our home, as it keeps the house warm in the winter and cool in the summer. Unfortunately, it’s also among the most dangerous things your dog could accidentally eat, and as such, the ingestion should be absolutely avoided.
If your dog ate insulation, you need to call your veterinarian or the nearest emergency clinic as soon as possible and monitor the symptoms, as ingesting this material is often dangerous and can lead to the death of your dog.
What should you do if your dog ate insulation?
If your dog eats insulation, remove them from any place where they can get access to the material, and then call the Pet Poison Hotline, your veterinarian, or the nearest clinic that is available to see your dog for a medical examination.
There are many types of insulation for homes and most of them are very dangerous or even lethal.
So, please remember to bring a piece of the insulation with you so they can identify the components and give the right treatment to your dog.
Sometimes eating bulky food after the ingestion is recommended, but it would be better to check with your veterinarian first and see if that’s the right course of action to take. Whatever happens, don’t do anything without consulting a professional first.
How to prevent your dog from eating insulation again.
The only way to avoid this incident in the future is to keep these materials away or hidden from your dog.
It might be hard to prevent your dog from eating insulation if you’re doing renovations in your house or if your pup presents a particularly destructive behavior.
However, it’s important to take the right precautions to reduce the chances of your dog coming in contact with these materials to the minimum.
Your dog should never be allowed in the room or part of the house where renovations are taking place. Every corner or wall where insulation isn’t safely covered should be fixed immediately.
If your dog has a particularly wild temperament or is inclined to eat non-edible materials that are dangerous for them, you should consider professional training or a specialist examination to determine whether your dog has a psychological disorder known as pica.
What happens if a dog eats insulation?
When a dog eats insulation, the least you can expect is a blockage in the gastrointestinal apparatus. This happens because the body won’t accept the materials in which insulation is made and won’t be able to digest them properly.
Insulation has also a hard time passing through the system because of its tendency to get stuck to the walls of the digestive tube, which might cause suffocation upon ingestion.
Unfortunately, some types of insulation can be toxic or poisonous, because especially in older houses they might include a component called asbestos, which is a known carcinogen.
Other types of insulation are treated with toxic chemicals in order to last longer and discourage rodents. All of these components are very dangerous for your dog and might lead to death within 24 hours of ingestion.
Fiberglass insulation is especially dangerous because it’s the equivalent of swallowing actual glass, putting your pet at risk of blockage, peritonitis, and death.
If your dog ate fiberglass insulation you need to rush them to the nearest emergency clinic and bring with you a piece of the insulation they swallowed, which will be helpful in the diagnosis and treatment.
Timing is essential because fiberglass in the intestines can pierce holes in the digestive tract and expose your dog to inflammations, infections, and necrosis of the organ interested.
Do not feed your dog anything unless instructed to do so by the veterinarian and don’t wait for symptoms to show up, because it might be too late. Even if you just barely suspect your dog might have eaten fiberglass, they will need to be seen.
Common treatments if your dog swallowed insulation
There are different medical procedures and treatments available, that’s why it’s important to get your dog examined as soon as possible.
The veterinarian will proceed with an x-ray to see where the foreign object is and whether it has caused a blockage or not. It will be important to have a sample of the material in order to know its level of toxicity and to determine what kind of damage might cause in the body.
Your doctor might then decide to use an endoscope, which is a long, tubular instrument with a very small camera on its tip that is used to look deeply into the body.
Through an endoscopy, your vet might be able to check for any internal damage and maybe even remove the object. For more serious cases, medical surgery may be required.
After removing the object, the insulating material will be taken into consideration when treating your dog for any poisoning symptoms.
Symptoms to look out for
Most common symptoms when there’s a blockage or poisoning include:
– Vomiting: the first symptom to show up, it’s especially worrying if you find blood in the vomit;
– Polydipsia: excessive thirst. Your dog will get dehydrated and thirsty when ingesting a foreign object;
– Diarrhea: it usually comes with or in place of vomiting. It might be a sign of a partial blockage in the intestines and it’s dark brown or black if there’s blood mixed in the stools;
– Lethargy: it’s usually connected with polydipsia and will show up around 12-24 hours after ingestion. Your pet will be unresponsive and eager to sleep;
– Abdominal pain: your pet will feel discomfort or pain when touched in the abdominal area. This is a clear symptom of blockage in the intestine;
– Swollen tongue: this is a very bad sign because it means the poison is spreading through the body. You will need to rush your pet to the clinic as they could be dying;
– Salivation: it might appear at the same time as the swollen tongue. It’s a sign of a gastrointestinal blockage, but can also be a sign of intoxication. Your pet will need to be seen immediately;
– Seizures: your dog has lost control of the muscles and one of their organs is probably collapsing because of infection or poisoning. Your dog might be experiencing muscle twitching, be foaming at the mouth, or be unconscious.
When ingesting poisonous material, the appearance of any of these symptoms might be already a late stage in the poisoning process. If you suspect your dog might have ingested insulating materials, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Can dogs eat insulation?
Dogs cannot eat insulation as the insulating materials are often toxic to them. Ingesting any of these materials may often cause serious diseases or death of your pet, so it’s fundamental to keep them away from the danger.
Insulating materials should never be stored where your dog has free access and if you’re doing renovations, your dog should be forbidden from entering the working area of the house.
Any exposed piece of insulation should be covered immediately to avoid your pet finding it. With insulation, prevention will be especially fundamental to save your dog’s life.