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Family dog mistakes decorative rocks for food

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WELLINGTON, Ohio -- Every owner will tell you dogs eat the darndest things, but even veterinarians were surprised when they X-rayed an Ohio dog’s bloated belly.

“It was a shock to everybody. It was cool to see an X-ray like that -- but at the same time, when it’s your dog it’s a little scary," Laurie, the dog’s owner, told WJW. She luckily works at Wellington Veterinary Clinic.

Laurie’s 4-year-old golden retriever, Finnigan, had gobbled loads of decorative rocks from the family's backyard. “It had to have been at least five pounds. His stomach was full. His intestines were full; they were all throughout him," she said.

It happened during a backyard BBQ.  Laurie later learned that one of the children had dumped something onto the rocks: butter and other savory juices from tinfoil shrimp packs they cooked on the grill.

The next morning, Laurie found a pile of rocks inside the house near the back door, and there were many more when Finnigan went outside. “And they started coming out of both ends,” said Laurie, who brought him to work at the veterinary clinic.

“Surgery was definitely an option,” Dr. Steven Krantz said. However, because the rocks were slowly moving and Finnigan was being closely monitored, they opted for a high-fiber diet and medications to treat nausea and protect his intestines. “We were able to monitor him, manage his medications and safely get him through this,” Krantz said.

Finnigan was able to pass all of the rocks on his own in five days. “It’s just one of those things -- sometimes even good dogs get into stuff,” Laurie said. “He is awesome; he’s back to his regular self, he is under very intense supervision, but he’s great.”

Over the years, Krantz has seen dogs consume everything from socks to nails. According to PetMD, the most common “non-food”  objects eaten by pets are socks, underwear, pantyhose, rocks, balls, chew toys, corn cobs, bones, hair ties and sticks.

Symptoms from consuming these kinds of objects include vomiting, diarrhea, refusal to eat, weight loss, swelling, abdominal discomfort, severe lethargy, weakness and fever. Krantz said if owners suspect their pet consumed a foreign object, they should call their veterinarian immediately.

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