Feel Their Pain: Fighting Lodged Foreign Bodies


You might have heard various stories of foreign body lodged in a pet’s mouth. It can be due to their mischief
or an accident. Let’s hear what a vet has to say about this and how you can take care of the situation!

Dr Ashok Kumar Sahni

A foreign body lodged in pet’s mouth is quite common. It can be a small stick, a piece of wood, hairball, needle or a piece of bone lodged in the molar teeth. Pets are also susceptible to getting injured with splinters or small pieces of bones while eating or playing. Whether the foreign body is small or big, it can cause great discomfort to your pet.

Signs that indicate something’s not right!

These signs and symptoms can indicate that your pet is struggling with a lodged foreign body and might be in pain – he is unable to chew properly, is constantly pawing and rubs his foot against his jaw, wants to cough out something that seems stuck in his throat, excessive drooling and saliva trickles from the side of the mouth. If there is a foul odour coming from your pet’s mouth, there are chances that a piece of food item is rotting in the oral cavity.

Your vet knows the best treatment

It is best that you take your pet to the vet. Do not try to remove the item at home, as it may cause pain and further injury to your pooch! The vet will carefully examine your pet’s mouth and remove the object using his/her expert skills. If abscess developed in oral cavity it has to be drained and suitable antibiotics will be given to combat the infection. If your pet is feeling pain while chewing food, change his diet to soft food for a couple of days.

All’s well that ends well!

A one-year-old German Shepherd came to my clinic with a sharp wooden piece embedded in his mouth. He could neither swallow any food nor drink water. I tried to open his mouth to see the wooden piece, but he was reluctant to open his mouth because of the pain and discomfort.

I decided to sedate him. After twenty five minutes, he was sedated. I slowly opened his mouth and saw the wooden piece deeply embedded in the lower left jaw. Using a needle holder, I pulled the wooden piece. The size of the wooden piece was about 4cmx1cm.Luckily the pet did not need any medication.

I always recommend pet parents – don’t allow your pets to chew on hard objects that may get lodged in the mouth.

There are also chances that small pieces can hurt them. Also while feeding bones, be really careful.

(Dr Ashok Kumar Sahni is a senior veterinarian based in Jaipur. He retired as Joint Director from Animal Husbandry Department, Govt of Rajasthan, Rajasthan)