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Leigh=Anne:  My 1 year, 7 month golden retriever has a habit of getting up and grabbing a sponge off the counter.  Today, I was using a new sponge, and is disappeared.  Normally she would just tear it up, but this time I cannot find it.  So far she is eating treats and dinner is coming. Should I be concerned over her eating this sponge?  I'll take another look through the house, but it disappeared when I ran to to the store and she was in the kitchen while I was gone.  I don't want anything to happen to her as he has all four paws firmly planted on my heart, but this is the first I have known her to eat a whole sponge.  The previous sponge incidents have had cleaning material in them and she just ripped them up and I would come home and pick up the pieces.  This time I can't find it.  Can't loose my little girl.  What should I watch for?

Thank you so much.

P.S.  She's current on all shots, sentinel, and frontline.

Oh dear  Ed.... U must be beside yourself?  Retriever and lab breeds are so very good at helping themselves to things not belonging to them. Was it just a general kitchen sponge of normal size with no cleaning chemicals embedded or did it have scourer on one side sponge on other? Scourer side is a bit more of an issue.
I hope by the time my email comes thru you have found it  and it was just buried somewhere in the garden but if not then keep your senses about you and look out for the following signs and symptoms......
Lethargy , vomiting. Stops drinking or drinks excessively, Straining to use bowels and or not pooping at all, being off his food cos as u know they LOVE food, or eating normally then throwing up, if he behaves differently , and with this when worried we can over assess things but if he groans or whimpers, trembles, (and it's not cold) wants to exclude himself or the opposite sticks to u like glue wanting your attention and closeness more than normal,  his belly gets tight and or distended, he runs around like he's trying to get away from something...... The concern would be that the sponge swells in his tummy or intestine and causes a blockage so food doesn't pass and he can't poop and or he gets a twist. He could end up with some severe gastrointestinal problems that require surgery to remove the sponge. It's fixable if caught early but also run the risk of infections and other probs so it's vital if you see anything at all that concerns you, please head straight to your vet. It's better to be safe than sorry.
Check all his special hiding spots to see if he's "tucked it away somewhere" but only you know your boy 100% so if you're in doubt at all just go and get his tummy checked and an X-ray done just to ease your mind.
Then...... Buy yourself a container with a lid and air vents and put all your cleaning sponges in that and pop it in a cupboard out of the little devils way :-)
If u haven't got one or two already, get him a kong and smear the inside with some peanut butter and poke some dried liver treats, cheese, yoghurt, or dog biscuits inside for anytime cos it's fun, but give him one while you're cleaning so he's fully focused on something else. Give him a half marrow bone or an enrichment toy where he has to find the treats and 'think' about it, he'll soon get sick of boring old sponges! They are very smart dogs requiring mental and physical stimulation and challenge and the more u offer him the less he'll want sponges.
Good luck Ed, fingers crossed the sponge turns up and he's fine. Cheers LA


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I am not a veterinarian but I do have some medical understanding and knowledge through years of experience and shelter work, but I am not prepared to give life or death medical advice and suggest if you have medical concerns you seek the advice of a QUALIFIED VET immediately for your family members' safety, health and well being. Agreed? Great! I have worked in an animal shelter,also owned dogs, cats, guinea pigs, rabbits, birds, fish, ferret, mice, oh and green tree frogs! They have all been spoiled rotten and lived to long, long old ages in pure contentment. During their lifespans I've had to manage the puppy stage of nappies and broken sleep, toddler stages, teens, maturity & elderly citizens....they are all very different with very different needs. I've dealt with various health concerns, behavioral issues, training & obedience, safe housing & lifestyle issues, exercise, toys & enrichment, safety, grooming, diet, euthanasia and so forth. I am experienced in the above and more, so would be happy to pass on my knowledge and experience if you have concerns with your "4 legged family member" I will answer your questions as quickly as possible and provide you with the best answer from my knowledge & ability. If its beyond me, I will be honest and not lead you astray, but instead direct you to someone/somewhere that can assist you further. I'm in South Australia and have good Intel on what is available and where! I appreciate that your 'baby' means the world to you,so please........ don't waste precious time online if its a medical issue or emergency of any proportion-contact your NEAREST VET STAT! I look forward to hearing from you & thanks for considering my assistance!


Young Animal Protection Society (YAPS) North Queensland (volunteer employment for 9 years) - rehab of cats and dogs all breeds, ages and backgrounds - Exercise dogs - Wash and clean kennels, cages and bedding - Prepare feed and special diets, feed all animals - train and work on behavioral issues - Monitor animals and vet needs- take when required - collect strays and follow council procedures and by laws - groom, bathe and provide allergy treatment - administer heartworm, flea, tick and worm preventatives - play and provide enrichment activities - special work with dogs with mild food/toy/dog aggression, fear, anxiety and/or mistreatment to re-establish trust and faith - Assistant Vet Nurse at Beach Road Veterinary Clinic Nth Qld Pet owner of: Pure bred German Shepherds x 2 (both males)fully obedience trained to hand signals Pure bred Australian Silky Terriers x 3 (males) Pure bred Chihuahua (male) White male ferret various goldfish, tropical and Beta's(bred Beta's) Two mice and couple of green tree frogs when younger 4 cats male - 2 male moggies, and CURRENT- 2 females ages 12 & 13, mum & daughter(PART PERSIAN Torty -assisted at birth of 4 babies, broke sacs, got breathing etc.... CURRENT: Pure bred male blue English Staffy at 5 mths Various Strays and "foster" kids over the years

Animal Welfare League WSPA Port Adelaide Dog Obedience Club

non medical Cert III & IV in animal care

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