Is your dog a toy chewer? If so, you should be cautious about the toys that you offer to your dog.
It was recently brought to our attention via our Facebook fan page about the potential dangers of stuffed toys. Now, before you go believing every story you hear, be sure to check the facts and get some solid evidence.
There certainly are many dangers of children’s stuffed toys to our dogs. Not only do they often contain small plastic parts such as beads, googly eyes, buttons, etc. but the rumor says that some toys may also contain a substance which can be deadly if swallowed.
There are different variations of this e-mail circulating the net that describe a Labrador who suddenly became very sick.
When [the vet] opened the dog up to remove what she thought was an intestinal obstruction she found a huge gelatin type mess inside and the dogs intestines were black and the tissue dead. The dog will die — no surgery can fix him as there was no living intestine left from stomach to colon.
This was not an obstruction. …. so she called the manufacturer of the Teddy Bear on a quest to find out what the gel was and what killed the dog. Turns out the stuffing in children’s toys contains ingredients for flame retardants and mite control! It is designed to become a gel. It is highly toxic.
Now before you take for granted everything you read, take into account that there may be underlying factors to this story.
Barbara Mikkelson from snopes.com says:
Before this claim about deadly stuffed toys is asserted as “true,” we need to consider that correlation is not the same as causation. It’s possible each of the dogs [already] had something wrong with them that [led to their consumption of children’s toys], with the connection to bedding and toys being made only after the vet asked each owner what their dogs had been up to prior to becoming ill.
This means that the animal being sick and the fact that it chewed up a toy may not be related events. She continues with a good point that if these toys are so dangerous, we would likely hear many similar tales from other vets.
The important message to take home here is to make sure that the toys you give your pets are intended for pets, and if any parts become swallowed, it is recommended that you contact your veterinarian immediately.