My Dog Ate Gel Beads What Should I Do?

By Julie •  Updated: 07/06/21 •  3 min read
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Has your dog eaten gel beads? Are you worried the gel beads will make your dog sick? If so, then you’ve come to the right place. We understand it can be scary when your canine companion eats something he shouldn’t.

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In this article, we’ll take a look at gel beads and whether or not they can make your dog sick. Let’s get started!

Can My Dog Be Lactose Intolerant?
Can My Dog Be Lactose Intolerant?

What are Gel Beads?

Gel beads are found in everything from medications to packets in shoe boxes and more. The beads are used to absorb moisture and keep food, medications, leather goods, and more from becoming moldy and wet.

Silica gel is a desiccant, which means it absorbs moisture and lowers the humidity levels in containers. The gel keeps the environment from becoming too wet or humid, which could result in rust, mold, and even mildew.

Silica gel beads have no odor or taste, and they’re not toxic. This is the good news. While gel beads are non-toxic, what happens if a dog eats them? Will the gel beads make a dog sick?

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Gel Beads & Dogs

Gel beads are non-toxic, which means they will not poison a dog who has eaten some of the gel. However, if the gel beads were still in their packaging, this could pose a huge problem for a dog.

The problem is that the packaging could become lodged in the dog’s digestive tract and cause an intestinal blockage. This is a painful, life-threatening medical condition. The danger is much greater for smaller dogs than larger dogs; however, if larger dogs eat more than one packet, they could also develop an intestinal blockage. Smaller dogs are more in danger after eating a gel packet because their digestive tract is much narrower than a larger dog’s.

Symptoms of an Intestinal Blockage in Dogs

You may notice these symptoms if your dog eats gel beads & their packaging:

If your dog shows any of these symptoms, then call the vet immediately. This is a medical emergency. Try to figure out how many gel bead packets your dog has eaten. This information can help the vet.

Treatment for a blocked intestine depends on where the gel bead packet has become lodged. If the packet is in the stomach, the vet may try to remove it with an endoscopic procedure. However, for packets that are lower in the intestine, your fur baby may require emergency abdominal surgery. The surgery is done to remove the packet(s) and to repair any damage at the same time.

Remember that an intestinal blockage that’s left untreated can lead to death. So, always call the vet if your dog has the symptoms above and/or if you saw your dog eat gel packets.

The good news is that dogs who receive prompt medical treatment of a blocked intestine will make a complete recovery!

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Julie

Julie is a graduate of the University of North Carolina, Wilmington, where she studied Animal science. Though contrary to the opinion of her parents she was meant to study pharmacy, but she was in love with animals especially cats. Julie currently works in an animal research institute (NGO) in California and loves spending quality time with her little cat. She has the passion for making research about animals, how they survive, their way of life among others and publishes it. Julie is also happily married with two kids.

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