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My dog ate sweetcorn

Jack Russell with sweetcorn in the mouth advice

A corncob can get stuck in a dog of any size.

© Shutterstock

Dogs may have a liking for sweetcorn but they can be really bad for them, as is explained here.

By Dr. Laura Harvey BVetMed GPCert (WVA&CPM) MRCVS

Published on the 11/08/2020, 15:05

Dogs often like corn/sweetcorn and while the actual kernels (pieces) of sweetcorn shouldn’t do a dog any harm, the intact corn on the cob is very dangerous. This is because they get stuck in the dog’s intestines, as they are too big to pass through and are not digested in the dog’s stomach. This causes an obstruction, leading to abdominal pain, vomiting and dehydration, which, if left untreated, will progress to death. This result is rare if veterinary treatment is sort promptly.

What happens when a dog eats corn?

Sweetcorn kernels are safe for dogs, but corn on the cob can get stuck in the intestines, as can corn husks. This leads to your dog becoming very ill, often very quickly. Symptoms include vomiting, anorexia, lethargy, abdominal pain and an inability to pass faeces. If this is left untreated, it will be fatal due to the dehydration and toxicities that develop from the obstruction and possible rupture of the intestine.

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk

Is it safe for dogs to eat any corn?

The individual sweetcorn kernels are safe for dogs. Yet it is worth remembering that not every food agrees with every dog, so only feed a small amount to reduce the chance of vomiting/diarrhoea. Corn on the cob must not be given to dogs, as they frequently get stuck in the dog’s intestine, causing a blockage.

Will corn husks hurt dogs?

Although the husk itself is not toxic, it is not well digested by dogs. As such, it has the potential to cause an obstruction in the dog’s intestine. Therefore, corn husks should not be given to your dog.

Can dogs digest corn husks?

No, they don’t get digested in the way that most vegetables do, so corn husks should not be fed to your dog because it could well cause an obstruction in their intestine.

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk

Why is corn bad for dogs?

Sweetcorn kernels are safe for dogs, but corn on the cob can get stuck in the intestines, as can corn husks. This leads to your dog becoming very ill, often very quickly. Symptoms include vomiting, anorexia, lethargy, abdominal pain and an inability to pass faeces. If this is left untreated, it will be fatal due to the dehydration and toxicities that develop from the obstruction and potential rupture of the intestine.

Can corn make dogs sick?

The actual individual sweetcorn kernels are well tolerated by most dogs, so won’t cause a problem. But not every food agrees with every dog, even if it isn’t poisonous to dogs, so there is a chance your dog may develop vomiting and/or diarrhoea having eaten it. The intact corn on the cob must never be given to dogs.

Can a corncob kill a dog?

Yes, it can. This is because the cob gets stuck in the small intestine and then the dog becomes very ill, very quickly, due to vomiting, dehydration and toxins from the blockage in the intestine, which can progress to a rupture the intestine. Emergency surgery is required to remove the obstruction.

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk

I have a large dog and they ate corncob

Corn on the cobs get stuck in all dogs, including the large ones. If you think or know that your dog has eaten a corn on the cob, please contact a vet immediately.

My dog ate corncob and is vomiting

If your dog starts vomiting after they have eaten a corncob, you must contact a vet immediately because it could mean that the corncob has got stuck in their stomach or intestine.

How can I help a dog who has eaten corn on the cob?

The only way to help a dog is to contact a vet immediately and explain what has happened.

How long can a corncob stay in a dog's stomach?

It will usually only be between 12 and 72 hours, but it can be much longer.

Talk to a vet online. Visit myfamilyvets.co.uk

When should I see a vet?

If you know or think that your dog has eaten a corn on the cob, please contact a vet immediately. Likewise, if they are vomiting, lethargic, not wanting to eat, not defaecating, or appear in pain, please contact a vet, particularly if there is a possibility that they have eaten something like a corn on the cob or husk.

Please note this article is not a substitute for veterinary advice. Therefore if you have any concerns about your dog, please contact a vet.

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