The 6th Day of Christmas: Batteries
When it comes to the holidays we all appreciate the presents we receive from our loved ones.  Most of these gifts today use batteries, from toys, watches, cameras, video games, remote controls, key fobs, and even those annoying singing Christmas cards.  Urgent Pet Care of Omaha wants to remind you that batteries are dangerous to our pets if ingested or chewed on.

Traditional Batteries

Traditional batteries like AA, AAA, C, D, and 9-volt batteries can result in injuries like oral burns, gastrointestinal upset, or even an obstruction if swallowed.  The acids in the batteries can cause oral burns and some gastrointestinal upset that may include vomiting and/or diarrhea.  Batteries can also cause an obstruction of the intestinal tract. An obstruction is when an object is unable to pass through the gastrointestinal tract and gets stuck.  Most of these cases require surgery to remove the item.

Button or disc batteries

The button or disc batteries cause a serious danger to our pets if swallowed.  This includes burns, ulcerations, and perforations to the esophagus, stomach, or intestines.  Perforations are not only painful for your cat or dog, they can cause a potentially life-threatening situation.   Burns and irritation to the esophagus are particularly difficult to treat.

Signs that your dog or cat may have eaten a battery:

  • increased drooling
  • refusal to eat
  • bad breath
  • vomiting
  • diarrhea
  • abdominal pain

Do NOT induce vomiting before going to the vetthere are three very important reasons why:

  1. Punctured batteries leak caustic material which causes ulcers within the digestive tract. If you cause your pet to vomit up a punctured battery, you double the exposure of their esophagus to the leaking caustic material. This, of course, increases the chances that your pet will suffer from ulcers.
  2. Induction of vomiting is never without its potential complications, and doing so after battery ingestion is particularly dangerous. When a pet vomits there is always the risk of the vomited material gaining access to their respiratory tract and lungs (“being aspirated”). In all situations this can be problematic, but in the case of corrosive alkaline materials, this will be even more dangerous. The damage that can occur within the lungs can easily prove fatal.
  3. The most common ‘at-home’ remedy used to induce vomiting in pets is hydrogen peroxide. The way hydrogen peroxide works to cause vomiting is by direct irritant action on the lining of the stomach. If your pet has just chewed on or ingested a battery, they have already just sustained a significant irritation to their stomach and esophageal lining. By administering hydrogen peroxide, you add insult to injury and increase the likelihood of gastrointestinal bleeding and/or perforation.

Visit Urgent Pet Care Omaha

If you think your dog or cat may have eaten a battery, the doctors at Urgent Pet Care in Omaha would recommend bringing them in to get an exam and an x-ray to determine if your pet is having an issue.  At Urgent Pet Care in Omaha, our veterinarians are here for you and your pet, every night, weekend, and holiday for any veterinary emergency.  No appointment is needed during an emergency, but we do appreciate a phone call to let us know you’re coming.

To reach our Omaha office, please call 402-991-9444. For the Papillion office, please call 402-597-2911.