My Dog Ate a Nail Will He Get Sick?

By Kyoko •  Updated: 12/03/20 •  3 min read
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Dogs eat the strangest things! They can eat anything from paper to roadkill. They are not discerning when it comes to eating things. But what happens if a dog swallows a nail?

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Nails are Everywhere

Nails are found all over our homes. They sometimes slip out of furniture or woodwork. Or they can be found out in the garage, where you keep tools and others DIY home fixes. Nails are a part of our lives.

Nails comes in a wide range of shapes, lengths, and composition; however, most nails are made of steel. However, they can also be made of stainless steel, iron, copper, aluminum, or even bronze.

Nails are Dangerous if Swallowed

Nails usually have one end that’s sharp. The sharp end can cause damage to a dog’s digestive tract if swallowed. It can cause tears, become lodged in the stomach or intestines, and more.

Symptoms Your Dog Has Swallowed a Nail

You may notice these symptoms if your canine friend has swallowed a nail:

My Dog Swallowed a Nail, Now What?

Note: never induce vomiting at home, unless instructed to do so by your vet.

If you even suspect your canine companion has swallowed a nail, then it’s time to call the vet right now. This could be a medical emergency.

Note your dog’s symptoms (if any) and then call the vet.

Treatment of Swallowed Nails in Dogs

At the vet’s they take note of your dog’s symptoms, and then will perform a complete physical exam. They’ll look to see if they can feel where the nail may be located, if your dog’s having abdominal pain, and more. They may also order lab work and imaging tests (to see where the nail is inside your dog).

If your dog has recently swallowed the nail, the vet may be able to induce vomiting. The dog may be able to vomit up the nail. However, if the nail is further along in the digestive tract, or the vet feels vomiting would cause more damage to your dog, then they may opt for surgery.

In most cases, your dog will fully recover as long as he has prompt medical treatment. Leaving the nail inside your dog will lead to unbearable suffering. So, always call the vet and seek out treatment. The sooner your dog is treated, the sooner he can begin to recover.

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Kyoko is from a family of 3 and moved to New York with her parents and siblings when she was 13. Kyoko is fond of spending a great amount of time with pets, specifically her beagle Luna and cat Missy. Her boyfriend often complains that she spends too much time giving attention to their animals. Kyoko has written dozens of articles concerning pets and is aiming at owning a pet shop one day!

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