The Animal Rescue League of Boston is warning pet owners and the public to be careful of where they pitch their face masks after a dog nearly lost its life after eating one.
Face masks are a common sight these days. Unfortunately, they are increasingly contributing to pollution when not disposed of properly. And that makes them prime targets for curious animals.
Why would a pet swallow a mask?
To a dog, a discarded paper mask may smell like a treat.
“Masks can smell like food, and dogs or wildlife may think they’re a treat,” ARL Boston stated in a public release. “These items can cause massive stomach upset or intestinal blockages, and the metal nose wire in masks may cause a variety of health issues, including stomach and esophageal tears, as well as sepsis, which may prove fatal if not treated.”
What happens if a dog swallows a mask?
According to People, Gibbs has made a full recovery. Not all animal emergencies may end up on a positive note, however.
After swallowing a mask, an animal may experience a number of symptoms:
- decreased appetite
- abdominal tenderness or pain
- straining to defecate or producing small amounts of feces
- changes in behavior, such as biting or growling when picked up or handled around the abdomen
If you suspect your pet has eaten something they shouldn’t have, call your veterinarian immediately.
How do I stop my pet from eating old masks?
The easiest way to keep your pt from eating discarded paper masks is to discard them in a trash receptacle that has a lid your pet cannot open on their own.
There is no telling how long masks will be required to stop the spread of coronavirus disease (COVID-19) in public. Until then, it’s important that pet owners learn how to make choices that protect their own health and that of their companion animals.
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