The Animal Welfare Society of SA recently came to the aid of a dog, who displayed all of these symptoms and immediately suspected that he had swallowed a large foreign object. Picture: Animal Welfare Society of SA/Facebook
The Animal Welfare Society of SA recently came to the aid of a dog, who displayed all of these symptoms and immediately suspected that he had swallowed a large foreign object. Picture: Animal Welfare Society of SA/Facebook

Corn kernels are fine for dogs but don't feed them the cob – this is why

By Staff Reporter Time of article published May 25, 2021

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Cape Town - Dog owners have been warned that while sweetcorn or corn kernels are safe to feed dogs, giving them the cob as a seemingly harmless “chew toy” could lead to expensive surgery.

The Animal Welfare Society of SA advised dog owners that due to the cylindrical shape, corn cobs are indigestible, and can easily cause an internal blockage, causing the dog to become unwell and requiring veterinary treatment.

Without treatment, the blockage can cause dehydration, loss of appetite and damage the bowel, which can be life threatening.

Dogs who have eaten a corn cob may show some of these clinical signs:

  • Sickness
  • Diarrhoea
  • Lethargy
  • Difficulty pooing or passing only small amounts of poo.
  • Poor appetite
  • Abdominal tenderness or pain

“We recently came to the aid of a dog who displayed all of these symptoms and immediately suspected that he had swallowed a large foreign object.

“His owner gave us a hint of what that might be when she mentioned that he loved to beg at the table and almost always got his own way,” the organisation said.

“After running through a long list of possibilities, she mentioned that he enjoyed gnawing on corn cobs that she naively thought were beneficial for him.

“After we explained to her the dangers of feeding him mielie cobs, he was taken to be X-rayed, where a large, dark, cylindrically-shaped object could be clearly seen in his abdomen.”

Animal Welfare Society of SA said that after the examination there was no doubt that it was a corn cob and that it would need to be surgically extracted.

“The operation went off without a hitch and after spending the night in recovery this much-loved pooch, whose owner will have to learn to say no to feeding him table scraps, woke up feeling a lot better.”

Cape Argus

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