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Rubber Balls & Your Dog

Rubber balls are loved worldwide by dogs, as they are great to bounce, chase, and chew. Unfortunately, with some persistence dogs can also pull pieces off and accidentally swallow them, causing them to choke or for an internal blockage to form. Some pups can even swallow balls whole.


Moa and Nugget both ended up at our emergency hospital with vomiting. Nugget´s rubber piece had lodged at the very start of his small intestine causing acute vomiting within 24 hours. Moa´s, however, had lodged approximately 20% along her intestine three weeks earlier and had ruptured her intestine leaving an abdomen full of pus.


X-rays showed suspicious items in both their stomachs and our surgeons performed emergency surgeries to fix the problems.


Tips for using balls with your dog:

  • Thoroughly supervise your dog when they are playing with a ball, don´t assume your kids will notice if your dog is chewing the ball
  • Ensure balls are removed from your dog when they aren´t being supervised
  • Choose a ball which is the right size for your dog, and particularly not small enough that it can be swallowed
  • Discard any ball which is wearing thin in any place
  • Choose a ball made specifically for aggressive chewers


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Animal Referral & Emergency network is the largest specialty and referral network in Australia, consisting of over 20 sites. With over 1,200 dedicated team members, including over 600 nurses and over 390 veterinarians (including specialists and registrars), we provide exceptional care for your pets. Count on us for expert medical attention and comprehensive veterinary services.