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Objects stuck in your dog's mouth

When your dog chews on a stick or a bone, they can easily get pieces stuck between the teeth of their upper jaw, across the palate. Here's what to do if something gets stuck in your dog's mouth.
Objects stuck in your dog's mouth

It’s not uncommon for dogs to get objects wedged between the teeth of their upper jaw. This can happen when sticks or bones break, or are chewed down to a certain size.

If this happens, you should stay calm and comfort your dog. Then take the following steps.

Bear in mind that if you need to take them to the vet, it’s worth checking to see if this is covered by your dog insurance policy.

What to do if something gets stuck in your dog's mouth

Try to comfort your dog, as they may be in distress. Reassure them to prevent them becoming more agitated. Then do the following:

  • Open the dog's mouth. Be careful, as they may bite in distress.
  • Locate where the object is stuck. Try to determine its size and shape, and exactly where it’s stuck.
  • Try to gently take it out. If it’s visible and easily accessible, attempt to gently remove it using your fingers or a pair of tweezers. But be careful not to push the object further back into the throat.
  • Check if there are sores in the mouth. If you manage to get it out, check to see if your dog has any sores or cuts.
  • If you’re unsuccessful, take the dog to the vet. If you can’t get it out and you’re worried about your dog’s safety, call your vet. They will be able to give you advice, and may recommend bringing your dog in for an examination.

Objects stuck in the oral cavity

If something is stuck in the dog's mouth or throat - for example a stick between the teeth of the upper jaw - a dog will usually start gagging. They will also claw at their mouth to try to get it out. Sometimes, however, the only symptom is bad breath.

Sticks can damage your dog's throat

Lots of dogs love to play with sticks. But you should try to teach your dog to carry sticks in the middle and not the end.

Sticks can be dangerous as they can get stuck in the oral cavity, in which case damage can be seen in the throat or next to the base of the tongue.

Stick residue or plant parts may remain and an abscess could develop. This can, for example, appear on the side of the upper part of the neck.

Find out more about symptoms of disease in your dog’s mouth. It’s also a good idea to learn how to brush your dog’s teeth properly.

When should I see a vet?

If you can't remove the stuck object, you should take your dog to the vet as soon as possible.

Sometimes you may see blood coming from the mouth or tongue, but no wound - this is often because the object is located far back in the throat. The stick may have broken, or the bark dislodged. In this case, it's important that your dog receives veterinary care.

Get free vet access via the Agria app 24/7

If you’re an Agria Pet Insurance customer and are worried about your dog’s health, you can speak to a vet at any time via our app. And it’s completely free. Just download the Agria app, which gives you free 24/7 video calls. This way you can access the best veterinary advice to keep your four-legged friend happy and healthy.

Download the Agria app free from your app store here.

And you can find out more about the Agria app here.

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