Dog Ate a Tennis Ball: Will They Get Sick and What to Do

If your dog ate a tennis ball, you may be wondering if they will get sick and what you should do next. While tennis balls may seem harmless, they can pose serious health risks to dogs if ingested.

In this article, we will explore the risks associated with dogs eating tennis balls, signs to look out for, and what steps you can take to keep your canine pal safe.

dog ate tennis ball

Key Takeaways

  • Tennis balls can pose serious health risks to dogs if ingested.
  • Symptoms of a dog eating a tennis ball include vomiting, diarrhea, lack of appetite, abdominal discomfort, and lethargy.
  • If you suspect your dog has ingested a tennis ball, seek veterinary care immediately.

Understanding the Risks of Dogs Eating Tennis Balls

risks associated with dog eating a tennis ball

If your dog has eaten a tennis ball, you may be wondering if they will get sick. The truth is that eating a tennis ball can be dangerous for dogs and can lead to serious health issues. Here are some of the risks associated with dogs eating tennis balls:

Choking Hazard

Dogs with powerful jaws can easily break tennis balls in their mouths, which can lead to serious choking. If your dog is choking, it is important to act quickly and seek veterinary care immediately.

Digestive Issues

Rubber and fuzz from tennis balls are not digestible, so the pieces can collect and become dangerous for your dog. The pieces of the tennis ball can cause irritation to the digestive tract or create an obstruction, which can be life-threatening.

Tooth Damage

If your dog continually chews on tennis balls, there is a potential risk they will wear down teeth enamel, a process known as “blunting.” The fuzz on a tennis ball is designed to be sturdy for hard use on the tennis court, so it is very abrasive. As the dog plays with the ball, dirt and sand are also accumulated, making the coating even more abrasive.

Foreign Body

Tennis balls are made of synthetic materials like rubber and plastic, and the body cannot digest these. This means that if they are swallowed and enter the gut, they will have to come back out whole. If the tennis ball becomes lodged in the digestive tract, it can cause a foreign body obstruction, which can be life-threatening.

It is important to take preventative measures to ensure your dog does not eat tennis balls. If your dog has eaten a tennis ball, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately.

Signs Your Dog Ate a Tennis Ball

signs dog ate a tennis ball

If you suspect that your dog has eaten a tennis ball, it’s essential to look for signs of ingestion. Here are some physical symptoms and behavioral changes to watch out for:

Physical Symptoms

  • Vomiting: If your dog vomits repeatedly or has a hard time keeping food down, it could be a sign that they’ve eaten a tennis ball.
  • Abdominal pain: Dogs may experience discomfort in their abdomen, which can be an indication of an obstruction caused by a tennis ball.
  • Loss of appetite: If your dog has no interest in eating, it could be a sign that they are experiencing discomfort.
  • Lethargy: Dogs that have ingested a tennis ball may appear tired or weak.

Behavioral Changes

  • Restlessness: Dogs that have ingested a tennis ball may appear anxious or restless.
  • Difficulty defecating: If your dog is having trouble passing stool, it could be a sign of an obstruction caused by a tennis ball.
  • Excessive drooling: Dogs that have ingested a tennis ball may drool excessively.
  • Agitation: Dogs that are experiencing discomfort may become more agitated or irritable than usual.

It’s important to note that some dogs may not show any symptoms immediately after ingesting a tennis ball. If you suspect that your dog has eaten a tennis ball, it’s best to contact your veterinarian right away. They can perform an x-ray to determine if there is an obstruction and recommend the best course of action.

What to Do If Your Dog Ate a Tennis Ball

what to do if your dog eats a tennis ball

If you suspect that your dog has eaten a tennis ball, there are a few steps you can take to ensure their safety:

  1. Contact Your Veterinarian: The first thing you should do is contact your veterinarian. They will be able to give you advice on what to do next based on the size of your dog and the amount of tennis ball ingested. If your dog is showing any symptoms of discomfort or illness, such as vomiting or diarrhea, they may recommend bringing your dog in for an examination.
  2. Monitor Your Dog: If you are unsure whether or not your dog has eaten a tennis ball, you should monitor them closely for any signs of distress or discomfort. Look for signs such as vomiting, diarrhea, lethargy, and loss of appetite. If you notice any of these symptoms, contact your veterinarian immediately.
  3. Induce Vomiting: If your veterinarian recommends inducing vomiting, follow their instructions carefully. Do not attempt to induce vomiting on your own without first consulting with your veterinarian. They may recommend giving your dog hydrogen peroxide to help them vomit.
  4. Surgery: If the tennis ball is too large to pass through your dog’s digestive system, surgery may be necessary. Your veterinarian will be able to determine if this is necessary and will provide you with guidance on what to do next.

Remember, prevention is always the best course of action. Keep tennis balls and other small objects out of reach of your dog to prevent accidental ingestion. If you do suspect that your dog has eaten a tennis ball, contact your veterinarian immediately for guidance on what to do next.

In Some Cases, You May Need to Visit the Vet

you may need to call the vet

If your dog has ingested a tennis ball, it is important to keep a close eye on them and monitor their behavior. In some cases, you may need to visit the vet to ensure your dog’s health and well-being. Here are a few factors to consider when deciding whether or not to seek veterinary care.

Severity of Symptoms

The severity of your dog’s symptoms can help determine whether or not they need medical attention. If your dog is exhibiting any of the following symptoms, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal pain or discomfort
  • Loss of appetite
  • Lethargy or weakness
  • Difficulty breathing

If your dog is showing any of these symptoms, it may be a sign that the tennis ball is causing an obstruction in their digestive system.

Time Since Ingestion

The amount of time that has passed since your dog ingested the tennis ball can also be a factor in determining whether or not they need veterinary care. If your dog has just ingested the tennis ball, it may be possible to monitor them closely at home and wait for the ball to pass through their system. However, if several hours have passed and your dog has not passed the ball, it may be necessary to seek veterinary care.

In some cases, the tennis ball may become lodged in your dog’s digestive system, causing a blockage. This can be a life-threatening condition and requires immediate veterinary attention.

Overall, it is important to monitor your dog closely if they have ingested a tennis ball. If you notice any symptoms or if several hours have passed since ingestion without any signs of the ball passing, it may be necessary to seek veterinary care.

Treatment Options

If your dog has eaten a tennis ball, it is important to seek veterinary care immediately. Depending on the severity of the situation, your vet may recommend one or more of the following treatment options.

Surgery

If your dog has ingested a large piece of the tennis ball or if the ball has caused an obstruction, surgery may be required. During the surgery, the vet will remove the obstruction or any remaining pieces of the tennis ball. Surgery is typically recommended in cases where the obstruction is causing severe symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, or loss of appetite.

Medication

In some cases, medication may be prescribed to help your dog pass the tennis ball pieces more easily. Your vet may recommend laxatives or stool softeners to help your dog pass the pieces. Additionally, anti-inflammatory medication may be prescribed to help reduce any inflammation caused by the obstruction.

It is important to follow your vet’s instructions carefully and monitor your dog closely during the treatment process. Be sure to keep your dog hydrated and provide them with a comfortable and quiet place to rest during their recovery.