Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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April 30, 2013

Household items can present risks to pets

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One of Halligan's older clients came in with his toy poodle and said the dog ate one of his tube socks.

"I was skeptical. I X-rayed, and it didn't show up. But he was absolutely certain. He was adamant," she said.

Halligan said she made the dog vomit and "sure enough, we pulled a foot-long tube sock out of this miniature apricot poodle, and the dog was fine."

X-rays quite clearly show many other things pets swallow.

In March, Tim Kelleher's 13-year-old Jack Russell terrier got sick and he rushed him to the vet. X-rays showed the dog had eaten a pile of pennies.

Dr. Amy Zalcman at BluePearl Veterinary Partners in New York used a camera attached to a net to fish 111 pennies out of Jack's stomach. Scooping up five at a time, it took a couple of hours.

Letting the coins pass could have killed Jack because pennies made after 1982 contain toxic zinc.

Zalcman didn't check the dates on the pennies, "but many were corroded, suggesting that they were being digested," she said.

Jack goes jogging daily and eats the best holistic food on the market, but he's got a voracious appetite and is always licking things off the floor, Kelleher said.

The day the long-legged, broken-coat terrier ate the pennies, Kelleher had left a sack with a few bagel crumbs on his desk. While going after it, Jack knocked over a jar of pennies. As Jack licked the crumbs off the floor, he slurped up the pennies too.

Kelleher thought he had "Jackproofed" his apartment. But just a few days ago, the dog ate a whole bag of hamburger rolls after pulling it off a kitchen counter.

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