Bluffs Advocate

A Dog's Life

Help! My dog ate a sock

I Don't Feel So Good

By Michelle Douglas

            Yes, the dollar is at its lowest since 2009 and the dropping price of oil may be good for our gas tank, but it's horrible for our economy. Yet there is a much more pressing issue on the table this week: Robert Spencer's dog, Stanley, has eaten a sock. The Beach is one of the most densely dog-populated areas in the GTA, according to a census taken by the City of Toronto (March 17, 2014), so there are no doubt many others in the neighbourhood who have had similar experiences.

After the initial panic subsided, it was time to assess the situation. Though a trip to the vet might yet be in the cards, Robert hoped that there could be another solution to this problem. Through some online research, he found that not only is a dog swallowing a sock quite a common occurrence (we may have inadvertently solved the missing sock mystery with this one), but there are actually a few things recommended for you to try at home before running off to the vet and spending a fortune trying to rectify this problem.

Many veterinarians suggest looking for signs of discomfort in the animal, such as lethargy, vomiting, diarrhea, and loss of appetite, which would mean a trip to the vet ASAP. Holistic veterinarian Dr. Peter Tobias suggests inducing vomiting with a peroxide solution (1 tsp. per 10 pounds—of animal that is, not of ingested clothing) shortly after ingestion. Emergency veterinarian Dr. Jon Geller suggests waiting it out to see whether the dog will pass the item naturally.

Robert has chosen the latter, with an additional secret weapon: petroleum jelly.

Petroleum jelly is widely used to assist with constipation, but it's more of a preventive measure in this case. The hope is that Stanley will not become backed up and will not require a veterinarian.

The first few times this happened to Stanley everything turned out fine, but the fifth time (yes, I said fifth), the sock became stuck between his stomach and intestines. The vet bill was $3000. Now this sixth time it might seem that making socks inaccessible could be the solution here, yet Stanley simply adores Robert's daughter Fiona, and seems to assume that ingesting her socks will show this admiration; he will find them wherever they are.

At least he didn't eat 43 and a half socks like that Great Dane in Portland, Oregon, as reported on the CBC's As It Happens on September 4, 2014.

At this point, Stanley is just fine. Many petroleum jelly sandwiches (23 days worth) later, Stanley felt under the weather and so had a trip to the vet. Shortly after his arrival there, he expelled the sock. The vet, kind person that she was, cleaned it up and presented it to Stanley's family. Yes, there is a picture of the undigested sock, but we chose, in a fit of editorial restraint, not to feature it in this newspaper. And yes, above all, Stanley is completely back to normal.