As summer approaches, so does the season for grilling and backyard barbecues and as many of us enjoy eating Taber corn – so might your dog. While corn itself is very nutritious and not harmful for your dog, corn on the cob is NOT. In fact, corn has many nutritional benefits and is not just a filler in dog food. Despite the fact that carbs get a bad rap, certain sources of carbs (like corn) also provide essential nutrients, such as protein, fat, vitamins, linoleic acid and antioxidants. Carbohydrates also can be a good source of fiber, which promotes gut health and motility. But no matter how lovingly your dog looks at you while you’re enjoying a piece of corn on the cob, do not share it with him.
Unfortunately, if your dog gets a hold of a cob of corn it is very likely that we will have to surgically remove it from his or her intestines at some point if they haven’t choked on it first. And although it might seem like something he would have a hard time consuming, if he is hungry enough, he’ll have no problem whittling down that cob –especially the larger breeds such as a lab (need I say more?) It usually ends up staying as a whole piece that is often an inch or longer in length and the diameter of the cob is big enough that it won’t make it through the small intestines and get stuck somewhere along the way. Once that happens, your dog will often start to vomit repeatedly, not eat, become dehydrated, be lethargic and maybe have diarrhea.
Xrays will usually show a lot of intestines that are gas filled and looking like sausage links that make us very suspicious that something is stuck in them, then off to surgery we go! Another interesting fact is that dogs may have eaten a cob in the summer and continue to act perfectly normal and you think that you’re in the clear. Such is not likely to be the case, that chunk of cob can actually sit in the stomach of a dog for up to months without any issues (they will not break down or get soft) until it decides to pass into the small intestine and away it goes! So please be aware of the cob…..