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Stop letting your dog eat corn on the cob

Keep corn on the cob away from your dog – even if Fido seems to enjoy gnawing on it.
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Keep corn on the cob away from your dog – even if Fido seems to enjoy gnawing on it.

The New Ulm Regional Veterinary Center took to Facebook to warn pet owners of this after Dozer (pictured at right) had to have surgery to remove a corn cob from his digestive tract.

The vet said his family learned "the hard way" that corn cobs are never safe for dogs – even if it seems like your dog is chewing the cob well enough.

That's because dogs' bodies aren't able to break down the cob, so pieces of it can get trapped in their intestines. And a lot of the time, they'll have to have surgery to fix the blockage.

The New Ulm Regional Veterinary Center's post has been shared thousands of times, including by Dr. Andy Roark, a prominent veterinarian.

Other pet owners have commented with stories of their dogs eating corn cobs accidentally and either having to have emergency surgery or dying. One commenter said her dog Sadie died last week after "an extensive surgery" to remove a corn cob, adding it "was a very scary and sad ordeal that I would not wish on anyone."

Frequently stuck items

The New Ulm Regional Veterinary Center says corn cobs are one of the most common foreign items it removes from dogs. And a 2007 survey from Veterinary Pet Insurance found corn cobs were the seventh most common item to have to be surgically removed from pets' intestines.

The American College of Veterinary Surgeons (ACVS) has a list of symptoms your pet may have if it has something blocking its intestines, including: vomiting, loss of appetite, dehydration and diarrhea.

Foreign objects can also perforate the intestinal wall, which could cause severe complications or death, the ACVS says.

Not only does a corn cob put a dog at risk, but the fix can be expensive. The average intestinal surgery costs around $3,000, according to Niles Animal Hospital in Illinois.

Corn isn't good for them either

CanIGiveMyDog.com says giving your dog corn without the cob isn't good either – even if they are adorable when they're eating it (see video below).

The website says although there are some nutritious aspects to corn, your pooch is probably getting enough grain from regular dog food.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8AMoqUY3ZWk

The company says the best thing people can do to prevent their dog from swallowing something that could hurt them is keep a clean home. Pet owners are also urged not to feed dogs scraps from the table because they can contain ingredients or bones that aren't easy for pets to digest.

According to Veterinary Pet Insurance, these are the most common surgically removed items from pets:

  1. Socks
  2. Underwear
  3. Panty hose
  4. Rocks
  5. Balls
  6. Chew toys
  7. Corn cobs
  8. Bones
  9. Hair ties or ribbons
  10. Sticks

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