My Dog Swallowed a Key What Should I Do?

By Kim •  Updated: 06/30/20 •  3 min read
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Does your dog like to anything and everything? You’re not alone! Today’s article is about dogs swallowing a key. During the research for this article, we came across an interesting article. The article was about some of the most commonly heard excuses for missing work. You guessed it—one of the reasons for missing work was the dog swallowed the car keys!

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While this can make for a funny story, the truth is that a swallowed key can cause some serious health issues in dogs.

Car Keys & Dogs

Car keys are often made of certain metals including steel, brass, nickel, aluminum, iron and other metals. Some keys may even be made with an alloy of zince, aluminum and copper. The metals used can vary.

Vets have a name for things, such as keys, which have been swallowed by dogs. These are known as foreign bodies. Any type of foreign body, including keys, can cause problems if swallowed. For instance, the metals can be toxic. In addition, keys can cause choking or even a bowel obstruction.

So, if your dog has swallowed a key, this could be more than just a frustrating instance. It can become a medical emergency.

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What to Do If Your Dog Swallowed a Key

If your fur baby begins choking, take him to the vet immediately. This could be extremely dangerous. Depending on where the key is lodged, the vet may be able to remove it from your dog’s throat with a special instrument. Chances are pretty good your canine companion will be just fine after the vet’s removed the key.

If the key has gone down without a problem, the vet may order an x-ray for your fur baby. The x-ray image will show where the key is. If the image shows the key is in your pup’s stomach, the vet may be able to get it out with an endoscope.

An endoscope is a flexible scope that can be passed down your dog’s throat and into his stomach. The device has an instrument on the end to help grasp objects. In this case, the vet may be able to remove the key before it moves further into the digestive tract. The vet may check your dog’s esophagus and stomach lining for any tears or irritation and treat those as needed.

Now, if the key’s moved further into the intestines, your fur baby may need emergency surgery to remove it. The goal is to keep the key from becoming lodged in your dog’s intestines, which could cause perforation of the intestinal wall, and/or an intestinal blockage.

Most dogs will have a complete recovery once the key has been removed, if they’ve received prompt treatment. We hope your fur baby never swallows a key! But if he does, we hope this article helps you know what to do. We wish you both many years of happiness!

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Kim

Kim is a talented author, who loves animals especially dogs. She engaged in writing books and articles relating to animals a decade ago. Kim resides in Chicago with her husband and son. The family is the proud owner of a dog and a parrot (Jack and Lily). Kim wanted more than these two pets, but her husband put his foot down... She often visits elementary schools to talk to the kids about what she learned about pets and how they could learn from them.

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