Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Corn Cobs & Dogs Don't Mix

A week ago, my Mom’s dog, Bella, a Jack Russell mix, got hold of a piece of corn on the cob and scarfed it down.

My mom said she saw the kernels in Bella’s poop, but couldn’t find any cob. Meanwhile, Bella seemed fine—eating, playing and pooping normally until the Sunday before Memorial Day, when she began to vomit. The vomiting was unproductive, although a small nub of corn cob came up. But worse was that the dog was struggling so hard to purge her gut that her vomit was streaked with blood.

A trip to an emergency vet clinic in downtown San Antonio (south of where my folks live) along with Xrays and fluids showed an obstruction. Today, Bella underwent a surgery at my Mom’s regular vet clinic to open her gut. The surgeon removed two large pieces of corncob from her stomach. Fortunately, the cobs hadn’t entered the intestinal tract, or the surgery would have been far more dicey. As it is, Bella should be home from the animal clinic by Thursday, and is expected to make a full recovery.

The vet told my Mom that corn cobs are one of the most common obstruction items removed from dog guts—dogs love ‘em but corn cobs won’t split up or digest. And as a breed, Jack Russell Terriers like Bella often show little loss of appetite, which is an early symptom of blockage.

So, during this summer’s grill fests, keep a sharp eye on those corn cobs—the bill for this unplanned snack stands at $2,500.


  1. thank goodness Bella is going to be ok. My dogs always leave the cob, but I keep a close eye on them when there's corn on the cob around.

  2. Whew! for Bella.

    I live on a rented farm property. The corn husks left over after harvest are a ton of fun for playing with, according to my dogs, but they don't eat them...
    They shake them to death:)

  3. My Mom's vet said that dogs love corn on the cob, and the cobs themselves!

  4. Wow, I had no idea. I friend of mine's dog was just chewing on a corn cob last weekend. I'll forward your post to him.

    On another note, can you please come over, read and oh, I have a question on reading pit bulls.

    Take care


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