My Dog Ate a Screw What Should I Do?

Reviewed By Tom •  Updated: 02/21/24 •  4 min read
Dog Severe Toxicity Level
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Dogs, especially puppies, are known for eating or swallowing just about anything. It may be they were curious about something they came across on the floor. That could be something like food, a sock, or even a screw!

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Has your dog eaten a screw? Are you worried the screw will make him sick? If so, then you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, we’ll take a look at the problem of dogs eating foreign objects and what you need to do next. Let’s get started!

What is a Screw?

A screw is a piece of metal that has been threaded. The top of the screw (the head) may be flat or rounded, and then a post comes down from the top. The post is the part of the screw that’s been threaded. Usually, a screw’s post will end in a sharp point.

It is strongly recommended to contact a Pet Poison Helpline or your veterinarian.

Screws are used to fasten different materials together; for this reason, they come in a wide variety of types and sizes. There are screws used to fasten wood pieces together, sheet metal, and even plastic parts.

Can screws make your dog sick if ingested? Are screws dangerous for your dog?

Screws & Dogs

The short answer is yes; screws can be harmful to dogs. They’re dangerous due to the metal they’re made out of, which could be toxic. The sharp point on screws can also be dangerous to dogs.

One note—if you have a large dog, there’s a chance the screw could pass right through the digestive tract without any problem. It will hopefully come out in the dog’s poop.

However, if you have a small dog that’s swallowed a screw, there’s a chance the sharp end of the screw could cause a puncture in the esophagus, the stomach, or in the intestines. This can lead to death if not treated right away. If the screw’s punctured your dog’s esophagus, he may be gagging or coughing, which are signs he’s choking. These symptoms indicate he needs immediate medical treatment.

What Should I Do If My Dog Swallowed a Screw?

Do not induce vomiting: doing so could cause the screw to come back out, causing severe damage on the way out.

The first thing is to get your dog away from the source of the screws. If he’s eaten one, there’s a chance he may be tempted to eat more screws.

Next, try to determine how large the screw was and see if you can find another one like it. You can take this to the vet so they know the screw’s size and type.

Then call the vet. Be sure to call the vet whether you have a large or small dog. It’s best to get their advice on how to handle the situation.

Let the vet know about what time this happened. You may be surprised, but this information can be helpful to the vet and your dog. The reason is that if your fur baby ate the screw within the last 2 hours, it may still be in his stomach. In that case, the vet may be able to remove the screw through an endoscopic procedure. If it’s been longer, the vet may need to perform surgery to remove the screw safely.

How is Screw Ingestion in Dogs Treated?

When you reach the vet’s office, the vet may run several tests, including blood tests, ultrasound or X-rays, and more. The imaging tests allow the vet to see where the screw is located within the dog’s digestive tract. That information helps the vet form their treatment plan.

As noted above, if the screw is still in your dog’s stomach, the vet may be able to remove it with an endoscopic procedure. Otherwise, surgery may be required.

After surgery, your fur baby may need to be hospitalized for a few days. During that time, he will be monitored by the vet. Your canine companion can return home once he’s feeling better. However, he may still require some medication or a special diet for a time. It’s essential to follow all of the vet’s instructions on how to care for your dog after his surgery.

The prognosis is best for dogs who receive prompt medical treatment. Remember, call the vet even if your dog is large. You want to make sure the screw comes out safely without hurting your fur baby.

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Tom

Tom has always loved to write since he was little - he wanted to be either a writer or a veterinary doctor, but he ended up being a professional writer while most of his works are based on animals. He was born in San Francisco but later moved to Texas to continue his job as a writer. He graduated from the University of San Francisco where he studied biotechnology. He is happily married and a soon to be father!

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