My Dog Ate a Cotton Ball – What to Do Next

Disclaimer: The content on MyPetChild.com is for informational purpose only. It is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinarian advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Always seek the advice of a veterinarian when in doubt.

Dogs may get sick after eating a cotton ball. How sick they could get may depend on a number of factors such as the type of cotton ball material and the amount of cotton balls the dog ingested.

What happens when a dog eats cotton balls?

One factor to consider is whether the cotton ball is made from natural cotton or synthetic fibers like bleached polyester and nylon. Natural cotton balls are less likely to pose a health risk to dogs than their synthetic counterparts. Natural cotton balls are easier to break down and more likely to pass through a dog’s digestive tract with little problems.

Cotton balls made of synthetic materials, on the other hand, are likely to introduce certain health risks such as intestinal or bowel obstruction. The dog’s stomach won’t be able to digest the polyester material. A buildup of cotton balls could occur at some point along the digestive tract. This creates an obstruction and prevents food and liquid from passing through as normal.

The health of a dog that suffers from intestinal blockage will continue to get worse if the blockage isn’t removed. It may require a surgical procedure if the blockage is occurring somewhere deep such as the intestines.

Another important factor is whether the cotton ball is new or used. Cotton balls get used for many different purposes. One common use case is for makeup and cosmetics. Used cotton balls may pose a greater threat if they have absorbed chemicals that are toxic to dogs.

What to do if your dog ate a cotton ball

It’s best to not assume your dog will fine after eating some cotton balls. You should, at minimum, call the vet so that they can determine whether a visit is necessary. A tiny piece of cotton ball (relative to the dog’s size) is unlikely to cause much harm. A full pack of cotton balls, however, is a different story and may require urgent care.

Keep a close eye on your dog for the next 48 hours. Watch out for the potential development of symptoms like vomiting and diarrhea. These could be signs of the cotton ball causing trouble somewhere along the dog’s gastrointestinal tract.

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