Your Dog Ate a Used Tampon: Here’s What to Do

Key Points In This Article

  1. Assess the Situation: Dogs eat tampons due to curiosity and scent. Risks include bowel obstruction and choking​.
  2. Immediate Action: Remove the tampon if possible. If swallowed, consult a vet for possible induction of vomiting​.
  3. Watch for Symptoms: Look for vomiting, bloody stool, straining to defecate, swollen abdomen, loss of appetite, and lethargy​.
  4. Seek Veterinary Care: An immediate vet check-up is necessary. Surgery may be needed for tampon removal​.
  5. Prevent Future Incidents: Securely dispose of tampons and dog-proof the house to prevent access to harmful items​.

Understanding the Situation

When your dog eats a used tampon, it’s essential to remain calm and assess the situation. Dogs are naturally curious creatures, and their sense of smell can lead them to explore and ingest items they shouldn’t.

Why Did Your Dog Eat the Tampon?

Dogs use their noses and mouths to investigate new or interesting smells. Blood, as found on used tampons, can be one of those enticing scents._ Your dog is likely attracted to the smell of blood, rather than the tampon itself.

Potential Risks

There are some potential risks your dog may face after eating a tampon, which include:

  • Bowel obstruction: A tampon can become lodged in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, blocking the passage of other contents. If left untreated, a bowel obstruction can be fatal due to perforation.
  • Choking hazard: The size and shape of a tampon make it a choking hazard, particularly for smaller dogs. If your dog is coughing excessively and struggling to catch its breath, it might be choking on the ingested tampon.

For more information on the risks, refer to the Pet Poison Helpline.

Keep an Eye on Your Dog

Monitor your pet closely for any of the following symptoms, which may indicate a serious issue:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Lethargy
  • Loss of appetite
  • Abdominal pain

If your dog shows any of these signs, it’s imperative to consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. They can provide the appropriate treatment and guidance on how to proceed.

Understanding your dog’s behavior is key to providing the appropriate care and preventing future incidents. Keep tampons and other potentially dangerous items out of your dog’s reach to ensure their safety and well-being.

What to Do Right Now

Removing the Tampon

If you catch your dog in the act of eating a tampon, try to safely and gently remove the tampon from their mouth immediately. Do this while maintaining their comfort and without causing them any harm.

However, if your dog has already swallowed the tampon, do not attempt to remove it yourself. Moving forward, consider storing used tampons in a zip-top plastic bag and placing it in a secure trash can to prevent your dog from getting into them again.

Inducing Vomiting

In some cases, inducing vomiting might be necessary to help your dog expel the tampon from their system. It’s essential to consult your veterinarian before attempting to induce vomiting, as doing so without proper guidance can be dangerous and cause more harm than good.

Nevertheless, if instructed by your veterinarian to induce vomiting, they may advise using 3% hydrogen peroxide. Always follow the specific dosage and instructions provided by your veterinarian.

Keep in mind that your dog’s size, overall health, and the time elapsed since they ate the tampon can all impact the best course of action.

Some dogs may pass the tampon without issue, while others might experience serious complications, such as an intestinal blockage or bowel obstruction.

In any case, promptly contacting your veterinarian should be your first step after discovering your dog has eaten a used tampon. This allows for a swift response and the best possible outcome for your furry friend.

Signs of Danger

Physical Indications

If your dog ate a used tampon, it’s crucial to monitor them for any physical signs of distress.

The cotton and string can potentially cause choking, intestinal blockages, and lacerations. Some physical indications you should look for include:

  • Vomiting: If your dog is trying to expel the tampon, they may vomit frequently or in large amounts.
  • Bloody stool or diarrhea: Blood from the tampon or scratches in the digestive lining can cause bloody stool or diarrhea.
  • Straining to pass stool: Your dog may struggle to pass the tampon and have difficulty with bowel movements.
  • Swollen abdomen: A blockage can cause your dog’s abdomen to become distended and tender.

Behavioral Changes

Along with physical indications, your dog may exhibit behavioral changes that signal a possible issue. Keep an eye out for the following:

  • Loss of appetite: If your dog is in pain or uncomfortable, they may become disinterested in food.
  • Lethargy: A higher-than-normal level of inactivity or exhaustion could indicate that their body is fighting a blockage or infection.
  • Signs of pain or discomfort: Your dog may whine, cry, or show other signs that they are in pain.

In any of these cases, contact your vet immediately. Timely intervention can prevent further complications and ensure your dog’s safety. Additionally, it’s essential to be aware of potential hazards that seemingly harmless household items can pose to our furry companions.

Remember to monitor your dog closely; their behavior and physical signs can provide valuable information about their well-being. Regular visits to your vet and maintaining a consistent diet can help safeguard your pet against unexpected health concerns.

Veterinary Care

Initial Check-Up

If your dog has eaten a used tampon, contact your vet immediately. They will likely advise you to bring your dog in for a check-up. During this visit, the vet will perform a thorough physical examination and may require imaging tests, such as X-rays, to locate the tampon and assess the situation.

Surgical Removal

In some cases, the tampon might not pass through your dog’s digestive system on its own. If this occurs, the vet may need to perform a surgical procedure to remove the tampon safely. This is essential to prevent life-threatening complications, like intestinal blockage and infection.

Aftercare and Recovery

Post-surgical care is critical for your dog’s recovery. Your vet will provide you with instructions on how to care for your dog during this time. This may include:

  • Administering pain medication and antibiotics
  • Monitoring your dog’s bowel movements
  • Ensuring your dog stays well-hydrated and well-nourished
  • Observing for signs of infection or complications
  • Following up with your vet for reevaluation and/or removal of stitches

It is essential to follow your vet’s recommendations and monitor your dog closely during recovery to ensure a smooth and comfortable healing process.

Prevention Measures


Waste Disposal

To prevent your dog from getting into the bathroom trash and consuming used tampons, proper tampon disposal is crucial.Consider investing in a trash bin with a secure lid so your dog can’t access its contents.
For extra security, wrap used tampons in toilet paper or a small bag before tossing them in the trash.

Dog Proofing the House

Another essential step is to dog-proof your entire home.

Ensure your dog doesn’t have access to bathroom trash bins by keeping bathroom doors closed or installing a baby gate.
Moreover, train your dog to stay out of certain areas of your house, such as the bathroom.

You can also enroll your dog in obedience training, where they learn to respond to commands like “leave it” or “drop it.” It’s highly effective in stopping them from picking up harmful items.

In addition to safeguarding against tampons, remember that dogs can be tempted to chew on many other household items.
So, be sure to store any hazardous objects securely, such as human food, choking hazards, and cleaning chemicals.
For further information on keeping your furry friend safe, check some expert insights and safety tips.

By implementing these prevention measures, you’re taking significant strides in protecting your dog’s health and preventing any unwanted situations.

Frequently Asked Questions

What should I do if my dog ate multiple used tampons?

If your dog has consumed multiple used tampons, contact your veterinarian immediately. They will provide the best guidance on what steps to take next, depending on the size and breed of your dog.

Can a tampon be lethal to my dog?

Although it may vary based on the dog’s size and the number of tampons consumed, a tampon can potentially be lethal to your dog. If the tampon causes a bowel obstruction, it could be fatal if left untreated. Speak with your veterinarian if you think your dog has eaten a tampon.

Should I induce vomiting if my dog ate a tampon?

Do not induce vomiting on your own. Consult your veterinarian, as they will determine whether inducing vomiting is an appropriate course of action. Vomiting could worsen your dog’s condition or cause complications.

Can I give my dog hydrogen peroxide after eating a tampon?

While hydrogen peroxide can be used to induce vomiting in some cases, do not administer it without your veterinarian’s guidance. Using hydrogen peroxide without proper advice can lead to severe health complications for your dog.

What are the risks if my large dog ate a tampon?

The risks depend on the size, breed, and individual health of your dog. However, even for larger dogs, eating a tampon can still pose potential health risks, such as bowel obstruction. Always consult your veterinarian for the best advice specific to your dog.

Why are dogs attracted to eating tampons?

Dogs are curious creatures that explore the world through scent and taste. They are also natural scavengers. In particular, dogs recognize and gravitate towards your scent, which could explain their attraction to used tampons. Properly disposing of and securing used tampons will help prevent this behavior.