Cape Town - The Animal Welfare Society of SA (AWS) has warned pet owners that giving pets the cob part of the mielie is not only dangerous but is likely to result in a ‘very expensive surgery’ as well.
Sweetcorn or mielie kernels are safe to feed some animals but that seemingly harmless chew toy of cob is not recommended at all, said the organisation. This due to their cylindrical shape, corn cobs are easily indigestible and can easily cause an internal blockage that will cause your dog to become unwell and require serious veterinary treatment.
The spokesperson for AWS Allan Perrins explained that without treatment the blockage would cause dehydration, loss of appetite and damage to the bowel which can be life-threatening. Foods such as chicken bones are potentially lethal as they can get stuck in the throat of an animal, and can lacerate the abdomen as they splinter into sharp shards.
“More often than not surgery and extensive rehabilitation is required. It can be exorbitantly expensive and run into tens of thousands of rands. We have been able to dislodge and remove bones without surgery. This should be seen as the exception.”
Pets who have eaten a corn cob may show some of these clinical signs:
Difficulty pooping or passing only small amounts of poo.
Abdominal tenderness or pain
Perrins stressed that due to the hefty price of premium pet food, some owners will feed their pets left-overs or table scraps including bones and a variety of other potentially toxic foods like chocolate, raisins and grapes.
“Pet owners should never allow their pets to consume alcohol or anything containing Xylitol, which is an artificial sweetener. Avocados contain a toxin called persin that can be fatal to dogs, so dogs should never be fed avocados or be allowed to play with the pip.”