A foreign body is an object that, when swallowed, is likely to get stuck in the gut and cause a blockage. If your pet is lucky, and the object is small enough, it may be vomited up or passed without causing any trouble, but it can also lead to intestinal blockage, which is life-threatening
Even small objects can be dangerous, as they may cause choking or, in the case of button cell batteries, burns and perforation of the intestines that’s life threatening. If an object enters the small intestine it becomes like a cork in a bottle, and nothing can get past.
Signs that the pet ate a foreign body could be profusely vomiting (including fluids) and lethargy. If left untreated the pet gets dehydrated and the bowel may perforate. If the bowel wall is damaged, it starts to die off and release toxins. and the patient could die.
In this particular case the client observed their 4 month old French Bulldog swallowing a “Nerf dart” before they were able to take it away. They kept an eye on the dog’s stools, but it was not passed. Radiographs were done and the Nerf-dart was still stuck in the stomach. Removing the dart by endoscopy was unsuccessful, therefor they opted for it to be surgically removed. The dog was able to go home the next day.
Click on the image for a larger view.