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What Should You Do If Your Dog Ate a Magic Eraser?

Dog owners know how much Fido loves eating (or trying to eat) everything in sight, so perhaps it shouldn’t be that big of a surprise to find that he has eaten a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser!

While Mr. Clean Magic Erasers are non-toxic, if your dog ate a big piece of magic eraser, they could potentially experience a gastrointestinal blockage, while if your dog tore the sponge into tiny pieces, they may be able to pass through the body and come out when your dog poop.

Nonetheless, if you’re worried that your dog may have a blockage, you must call your vet and follow all his instructions to be sure that your dog can pass this ingestion without consequences.

Why would a dog eat a magic eraser?

It may seem strange that your dog would want to eat a Magic Eraser, but dogs sometimes do silly things out of boredom or curiosity., in fact, there is even a psychological condition called pica that you should watch out for in your dog.

Pica is a condition in which your pet feels an extremely strong urge to eat non-food material or objects. This condition can arise as a result of psychological problems or even physical issues. If you think your dog might have pica, consult with your veterinarian.

Pica can be dangerous because if your dog is always eating non-food substances and objects, it’s highly likely that he will end up with something stuck in his digestive system at least once or potentially many times. This puts your dog in a precarious situation, so pica needs to be nipped in the bud.

How can you prevent your dog from eating a magic eraser again? 

To prevent your dog from eating a Magic Eraser again in the future, store all your cleaning products in a place that your dog can not possibly reach or find a way to access. Use the same method with all the objects that you think your dog might decide to try to consume.

Below are some steps you can take that can help prevent your dog from ingesting foreign objects:

  • Store things (such as Magic Erasers) that you’re worried the dog might try to ingest out of his reach.
  • Remove objects such as sticks, stones, and stone fruit from your garden.
  • Find a way to block off access to the garbage.
  • Make sure your dog is always on a leash while out on walks.
  • When you give your dog bones to chew on, keep an eye on him and immediately take away the bone once all the meat is gone.

You should be aware that some vets recommend never giving bones to dogs, as the animals so often end up ingesting them and this can cause problems. There are other methods that you can use to maintain your pet’s dental hygiene.

Below are some of the objects that dogs ingest most frequently. Keep this list in mind when deciding what to keep away from your dog or to be cautious about it.

  • Sticks
  • Balls
  • Toys
  • Socks/stockings
  • String
  • Bones
  • Corn cobs
  • Fishing hooks (of obvious reasons, this could cause an especially perilous situation)

When an object is very small and quite smooth (and doesn’t have any sharp edges), it’s relatively likely to get through the animal’s digestive system without getting stuck. Larger objects and objects with sharp or irregular edges are more likely to cause problems or put your pet in danger.

How long does it take for an object to get through a dog’s digestive tract?

Whenever your dog ingests something, it generally takes between 10 and 24 hours for the material to get through the digestive tract (unless it gets stuck). 

If your pet has eaten something that he shouldn’t have (such as a Mr. Clean Magic Eraser), the process could take longer and there is a chance that it could become stuck and create a difficult or dangerous situation that will need veterinary attention.

If you see your dog eating something he shouldn’t or you have reason to believe that he has, you must contact your vet. There are steps that you can take at home, as well.

For example, you could administer two tablespoons of Metamucil mixed with cottage cheese, mashed potatoes, or canned food. Follow this by giving him a single tablespoon of Metamucil every day for three days.

If you want to induce vomiting in your dog because you’re worried he could have eaten bigger pieces of the Magic Eraser, you can soak bread in some milk and give this to your dog. After this, give your dog one tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide. If your dog does not vomit within 10 minutes, you can repeat this dose. Call your vet before trying this.

To help soothe your pup’s tummy after this process, you can give him one 10 mg Pepcid AC tablet. No matter which method you try, if you notice your dog having difficulty passing stool or throwing up after eating over the next few days, bring him to the vet.

You must always, however, keep a close eye on things and recognize that if an object is stuck in your pet’s gastrointestinal tract, it would be dangerous not to get veterinary care.

What are the symptoms of a blockage in a dog’s gastrointestinal tract?

There are certain symptoms that you need to look out for that indicate that your dog might have a blockage in his gastrointestinal tract and that he will need veterinary attention. These may include one or more of the following:

  • Loss of appetite
  • Evident tenderness or pain in the abdominal area
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation and straining to defecate
  • Changes in behavior (for example, suddenly starting to growl when being picked up)
  • Lethargy

A vet will need to do an x-ray to find out for certain that there is an obstruction in the gastrointestinal tract. It is often the case that several x-rays are required. Your vet might also do urine and blood tests on your dog in order to find out if there are any other issues. Other possible causes of vomiting in dogs include pancreatitis, enteritis, hormonal diseases (such as Addison’s disease), and infections.

How will the vet treat a gastrointestinal blockage?

If your dog is in a lot of pain and has been vomiting a great deal, your vet will probably first administer pain control and intravenous fluids.

Your vet will decide on the best course of action for removing the obstruction. He or she may decide that induced vomiting might be enough to get rid of the obstruction. Another possibility is endoscopy. In this procedure, the vet inserts a long tube through your dog’s esophagus into his stomach, and then remove the object.

If the blockage is especially severe, it’s possible that your dog will need to be hospitalized for additional x-rays and close observation. Surgery might be necessary if the object is in the intestine. This can be an extremely dangerous situation.

This is because a blockage in the stomach or intestine can lead to the intestinal tissue’s blood supply being completely cut off. When this happens, the tissue in your dog’s body can start to become necrotic. At this point, the situation becomes one of life or death.

How dangerous is a blockage in a dog’s gastrointestinal tract?

There are a number of different factors that impact the severity of gastrointestinal obstruction. These include:

  • The object’s location in your dog’s body
  • How long the obstruction has been there
  • The object’s shape, size, and other characteristics
  • Whether the object is able to cause any secondary illnesses
  • How healthy your dog was before he ingested the object

Only your vet can give you a precise prognosis. If the object is too large to make its way through the entirety of your dog’s digestive system and come out as or with feces, it will need extra attention.

Even some objects that get all the way to the colon might be extremely painful or even dangerous for your dog to pass. An example of this might be a sharp object, such as a stick.

If you ever see a foreign object poking out of your dog’s rectum, never try to remove it yourself! Doing so could cause tissue damage. This is an issue that needs immediate veterinary attention.

Are magic erasers toxic for dogs? 

Contrary to past rumors, Magic Erasers are not toxic. However, their manufacturer, Proctor & Gamble, points out that the Magic Eraser is a sponge-like product. As such, if ingested, it could cause potentially dangerous blockages in the gastrointestinal tract.

This means that if your dog eats pieces of a Magic Eraser, they could get stuck in his digestive system. The bigger the pieces your dog eats, the more likely there is to be a significant problem.

This is why the manufacturer recommends preventing pets (and children) from being around Magic Erasers unsupervised. Use the same practices you would with any other potentially hazardous cleaning product.