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Our Cairn Hercules is about eight months old. Yesterday he ate a tennis ball that was on a rope toy that my wife had bought. He had also been working on a sock, his blanket, tree bark, and a frisbee. My daughter noticed that the ball was off the rope and we all laughed, until he started vomiting an 1.5 hours later. He vomited 3-4 times with some significant chunks of the ball coming out. We called the local animal hospital and they said we should bring him in. He was whimpering and still trying to vomit, but nothing came out. By the time we got to the hospital and they examined him he seemed fine. Jumping around, wanted to play and starting to nip at the doctor. The hospital wanted to x-ray his stomach. We agreed and they said he still had significant amounts of the ball in his stomach. At that point they said we had a choice of either scoping him or having the remnants surgically removed. We chose the scope and last night they removed some other pieces, one of which was going into or potentially blocking his small intestine. They are still monitoring him and are planning to feed him to make sure he does not vomit again or develop diarrhea. They have informed us of the price all along the way which has mounted.

We love the dog, but yesterday I wanted to take him home instead of having him scoped. The doctor said it was not in his best interest. In a conversation with the doctor today she recommnended we get insurance, if he could even be insured because of his current offender status. She said that she would almost gurantee that this would happen again. We monitor him closely, and I try to give him bully sticks, which he loves. From what I have read, many Carins are very oral, voracious chewers, but they eventually outgrow this habit. I'm happy that he is almost out of the woods. Herc was a rescue at three months and we love him to pieces. I know we did the right thing, and the hospital is also doing the right thing. But I do miss the old time vets with bedside manner. Thanks ed

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So sorry to hear about Hercules thinking he could take on the tennis ball. Mine are still a little under 4 months - but I had to take the tennis ball away as they were trying to scalp it. We've since switched to toys that squeek on their own (just air no squeeking device that could be swallowed). We even have to be careful of certain plastic toys, toys with rings, and even certain stuffed dog/toy animals. They'll chew or try to eat anything. We even have to chase them around the yard as they'll eat pods from the neighbors tree, sticks - we even went after a wasp and got stung - it's been a chore. You're not alone though, and the fear is horrible when you've got a scary situation. We recently obtained pet insurance (not because we have a problem pair necesarily) just because it's a wise investment for anything down the road. Ours covers routine visits, shots, surgeries, cancers etc and has a low deductable. I've had many dogs in the past that I've literally spent thousands on to keep alive and healthy so I'm praying that I don' t need my health insurance but if I do it's there this time to help me out. Hopefully the worst is over for your little guy...

Hollie Edelbrock & Brystal Sonoma
Chris, Stacy and Little Noah
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I was always under the impression that tennis balls were bad for dogs unless they were well past the chewing stage. I guess your post confirms that.

I see so many cute toys that harbor tennis balls as part of the design. Some even have faces on them....I honestly think these toys should be clearly labeled.

I'm relieved to hear your "terror" is okay...I can definately relate to the chewing problems. When Elliott was about Hercules' age he tried to demolish a disposable razor! I found him in his crate chewing on the handle...the other parts were scattered over the floor. Tell me I didn't panic. :shock: Ended up taking another razor apart so I could compare the remnants to a complete one. No stress here!

That was only one of many harrowing experiences. We loved those Hide-a-Squirrel toys until Elliott pooped out a complete squirrel tail! Even now at the age of almost two, I STILL have to watch him at times but it definately got better (and I wear my glasses more)

You might want to look into some durable safe toys. I found this ball and frisbee to be Elliott's favorite and even after 6 months it's in one piece!



And then there's bully sticks or large rawhide bones for chewing as long as he's supervised.

Good luck and give Hercules a hug from me and my crew.

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Angus gets raw shank bones no shorter than 2" to chew on when he's in his crate. I know he cannot break or get any pieces off these. He loves other toys but is a destroyer! He's also scalped tennis ball dog toys and they have all been thrown out. I got him a really cute squeaky ball that has little feet and devil horns. He adores that toy, it bounces like crazy. I don't trust him with it alone since it has a squeaker. Anything Hercules is ok. How scary that must have been!!

Angus ate deer poop when we were in Colorado last time and he was one sick puppy for an entire day. I thought he would throw up his own tail!! Now I keep him on a lead so I can monitor what he's foraging for on the ground. You would not believe the stuff he puts in his mouth. He especially loves those dried up earthworms you find on the sidewalk. EWWWW!

Karen and Angus MacDoggal the Braveheart

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Hope Hercules mends quickly. I understand your problem, Levi found a nest of baby moles, each less than an inch in length, and rapidly ate two of them before I could catch him. Got to keep my eyes on him at all times I guess. He's three and a half months old, busy, busy, busy!!

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I found that around 14 weeks Mojo's chewing went away but don't be fooled it comes back when they start loosing teeth. Now at 6 months he has all his adult teeth and he doesn't chew or destroy anything.

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oh goodness, what a scare.

Both my girls love tennis balls, but can only play with them while supervised because they eventually start pulling the fur off. Teona is even able to bust one in half after a short amount of time.

Teona now mostly plays with a "wobbly ball" I found at Petsmart. She is unable to chew it apart.

Tabitha is now 7 and is still a very aggressive chewer. She constantly chews on the hard nylabones or her kong. I replace the nylabones every 3 months.

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