Oh no! Your dog ate a highlighter? Dogs can be frustrating when they eat things like that. It’s a fact that dogs are not discerning eaters. They will eat anything and everything that grabs their attention. They also love to chew, which may be why your fur baby decided to go after the highlighter.
What are Highlighters Made Of?
The outer casing of a highlighter pen is nothing more than a plastic tube. On the inside of the plastic outer casing, the tube holds a sponge (or something similar), which allows the ink to flow across the paper. The ink is contained within the sponge.
The good news is that the sponge and ink are non-toxic for your dog. The sponge only contains a minimal amount of ink. The amount of ink and the chemicals it contained will not be enough to make your dog sick. That’s the good news!
Now, you’ll need to see how much of the highlighter’s outer casing may have eaten. Try to bring the pieces back to one place and put them together like a puzzle. Do you see anything pieces missing? Are they large? Or is most of the pen casing missing?
If a large part of the casing is missing, it’s probably a good idea to call the vet. It’s possible your dog could have eaten the casing, which can cause an excruciating condition known as an intestinal blockage.
Intestinal Blockage in Dogs
You may notice these symptoms if your dog has swallowed the highlighter’s outer casing:
- Abdominal pain & swelling
- Loss of appetite
- Excessive drooling
These symptoms may not come on immediately; however, if you notice these symptoms in your dog, then go ahead and call the vet. This could be a life-threatening medical emergency.
Treatment of Intestinal Blockage in Dogs
After you reach the vet’s, they will conduct a physical exam of your dog. They may also run some lab work to check your dog for any signs of infection or other health issues. If it has been about 1-2 hours since your dog ate the marker, the vet may try to induce vomiting. This can work to bring out the casing.
However, if the casing doesn’t come up, the vet may then run an x-ray to check your dog for a blockage. If the blockage is spotted, the vet may need to do surgery to remove the highlighter pen casing.
In most cases, dogs will go on to a full recovery as long as they receive prompt medical care.