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ARTICLES

(Submitted by Helen Hamilton)

The Cotton Ball Treatment

What do you do if your puppy (or mischievous older dog) gets into your holiday decorations and eats some of the glass ornaments? This potentially lethal mishap can darken even the brightest holiday season.

 

The Procedure

Before, the holiday go to a pharmacy and buy a box of cotton balls. Be sure that you get COTTON balls...not the "cosmetic' puffs" that are made from man made fibers. Also, buy a quart of half and half  coffee cream and put it in the freezer.

Should your dog eat glass ornaments, defrost the half and half and pour some in a bowl. Dip cotton balls into the half and half and feed them to your dog.

Dogs under 10 lbs. should eat two balls which you have first torn into smaller pieces. Dogs 10-50 lbs. should eat 3-5 balls and larger dogs should eat 5-7. You may feed larger dogs an entire cotton ball at once. Dogs seem to really like these strange treats and eat them readily.

As the cotton works its way through the digestive track, it will find all the glass pieces and wrap itself around them. Even the teeniest shards of glass will be caught and wrapped in the cotton fibers and the cotton will protect the intestines from damage by the glass. Your dog's stools will be really wierd for a few days and you will have to be careful to check for fresh blood or a tarry appearance to the stool. If either of the latter symptoms appear, you should rush your dog to the vet for a check-up but, in most caes, the dogs will be just fine.

An actual experience, I can personally vouch for the cotton ball treatment. While I was at the vet waiting for him to return from lunch a terrified woman ran in with a litter of puppies who had demolished a wooden crate along with large open staples. The young vet had taken x rays which did show each of the puppies had swallowed several open staples. He was preparing them for surgery when my wonderful vet came in and said no surgery. I watched him wet several cotton balls, squeeze out the water and pop them down their throats. Within 24 hours, every staple was accounted for. This was a lesson I learned in the mid 1960s and have had to use several times on my brats. I wet the cotton balls and smear on some liverwurst and they bolt it down and ask for more. The cotton always comes out with object safely embedded.

"This probably has value" says Pat Kearney, who forwarded this article. "I know feeding a Sheltie bread after it swallowed a sewing needle many years ago, permitted the needle, still threaded, to pass through his system, no damage to the dog".

Teckel Tales, Vol. 21, No. 2 Winter 99/00