It is very common for us paw parents to experience many moments when we realize that our pet dogs have eaten something that they really shouldn’t have. We know that whatever foreign object that our dog has eaten can have some serious consequences.
My dog takes the cake when it comes to eating or trying to eat stuff that he shouldn’t. We had a few close calls that required medical attention. Most times, he was able to pass out the object.
Dogs eat the strangest things at times even stuff like latex gloves which has probably happened more often than not.
But why would a dog eat a latex glove?
Dogs can eat the weirdest things at times including objects like latex gloves. Similar to cats, dogs too have a strong investigative and curious nature that can cause them to unknowingly eat dangerous objects. Some dogs can also start consuming inedible items out of boredom and pica.
In this article, we will be looking at the potential dangers if your dog eats a latex glove and what you should do about it.
Are Latex Gloves Toxic?
The good news for all dog owners out there is that latex gloves aren’t toxic to dogs. Latex gloves are made from natural rubber latex which comes from rubber trees.
The rubber latex is mixed with water and folded to form rubber gloves.
Latex gloves won’t have a toxic effect on your dog unless your dog is allergic to rubber. In this case, your canine friend might experience some side effects from the rubber in its body.
What Happens If A Dog Eats A Latex Glove?
Even though latex gloves aren’t toxic to dogs, they still pose a big problem to your dog when ingested.
The best case scenario that dog owners would want is for the latex gloves to be swallowed safely by the dog and get passed out of its digestive system within a day or two.
However, that doesn’t always happen given the size of the dog in relation to the glove.
Here are some issues that can happen if your dog eats a latex glove.
The Risk Of Choking
If you have worn rubber gloves before, they can come in different sizes and thicknesses. Furthermore, they don’t seem like the easiest of foreign objects to swallow given the stickiness of the rubber.
A puppy or small-sized dog can be at a much greater risk of choking from the glove when ingested. They have a much narrower esophagus for the glove to go down smoothly.
A dog that is choking will have the following symptoms:
- Difficulty breathing
- Frantically pawing at its mouth
- Frantic movements
When your dog is choking, getting it to the vet might take too long. The best way to save your dog would be to administer the Heimlich maneuver to force the glove out of its throat.
This is something that all dog owners should know.
The Risk Of An Internal Blockage
Let’s assume that the glove passes smoothly down your dog’s throat without a hitch and ends up in its stomach.
Not to be the bearer of bad news but your dog is not out of the woods yet.
Your dog won’t be able to digest the latex material but given that a dog can produce 100x more stomach acid than humans, it might safe to assume that it could be partially digested.
When you apply heat to rubber, it starts to melt and turn into a gooey material. This sticky stuff and the undigested pieces can cause an internal blockage by sticking to your dog’s digestive tract.
An intestinal blockage is a very serious medical issue for your dog. It can cause stomach bloat which can be fatal for many dogs when the stomach folds onto itself.
Symptoms of canine bloat include:
- Excessive drooling
- Stretching neck and looking up
- Rapid breathing
- Look of distress
- Loss of appetite
- Dry heaving
If your dog is showing these signs after eating a glove you need to take your dog to the veterinarian for medical treatment.
Most gastrointestinal obstructions need to be resolved with surgery as the blockage is far too deep within your dog’s digestive tract.
Can a Dog Poop Out A Latex Glove?
It is possible for your dog to poop out a latex glove if your dog is a lot larger in relation to the size of the glove.
If you have a fully grown adult Great Dane that ate a small and thin latex glove, your dog will easily poop it out within the next few days.
But if your 3 month old puppy ate a thick elbow-length latex glove, you need to get it to the vet for treatment and get the glove removed ASAP.
What Should I Do If My Dog Ate A Latex Glove?
If you realize that your dog has just eaten a latex glove, check with your vet if it is ok to induce vomiting in your dog with hydrogen peroxide.
Please never induce vomiting without contacting your vet or poison control! Some substances can cause more damage when regurgitated.
Regurgitation works best if the incident has not been more than 2 hours. Otherwise, your dog would have already started to digest the glove.
The next best step is to see if your dog passes out the glove in its poop. You can feed your dog some fresh pumpkin or psyllium husk to try and bulk up the stool.
When your dog passes out the glove, your might find pieces of it sticking out of your dog’s anus. Do not forcefully tug at it as it could have been tangled from the inside.
You need the vet to have a look at it in order to remove the piece safely.
Why Does My Dog Eat Gloves?
One thing that I have learned as a dog owner for many years is not to underestimate the innate curiosity of your dog. Dogs express their sense of curiosity in a very different way as compared to cats.
A cat will smell the object, rub itself against it and then walk away. A dog will smell the object and try to make a meal out of it.
I can’t say that we can blame our dogs for such behavior as they did evolve from wolves who are opportunistic scavengers. When food is scarce, they can eat almost anything that resembles food.
Your dog’s nose is so sensitive that it can smell other ingredients that are used in the manufacturing of gloves that resemble food.
So to your dog, a glove is not just a glove, it is something that might be worth snacking on.
Below are a couple of other reasons that can cause your dog to start eating inedible objects.
Boredom And Lack Of Stimulation
You can’t keep a dog and expect it to treat it like a cat. Dogs are meant for outdoors and love being outside for a walk or job.
A dog that is kept indoors all day long without any kind of mental or physical stimulation will start to get very bored.
When your dog is bored, it will start coming up with ways to keep itself preoccupied. Most of these self-invented activities include messing up your home and eating stuff that it shouldn’t.
Regardless of how tired you might feel after a long day at work, make it a point to take your dog out for 20-30 minutes to get some exercise.
You can also mentally stimulate your dog with training sessions and seeking games to tire it out well.
Pica is a condition in dogs that can cause them to eat a multitude of foreign objects. They can eat anything from plastic, fabrics, wires, metal, glass, etc.
This issue is very serious as there can be internal damage if your dog eats something with sharp edges. There isn’t a cure for Pica and doctors feel that it can be caused by a bad diet or a genetic abnormality.
The best that you can do for your dog is to dog-proof your home and manage the symptoms.