I know, in the middle of a pandemic the last thing you need is something else to worry about. But this something pertains to a habit you’ll need to develop as long as wearing masks is still necessary. It may just save your dog’s life.
An abandoned rescue dog from Boston named Gibbs learned the hard way what happens when you chew on a discarded face mask. The 7-year-old Schnauzer mix was found in an abandoned home with a few other dogs. The Animal Rescue League of Boston brought him in for veterinary attention.
Gibbs’ x-rays showed nose wires from two discarded paper masks that created “life-threatening blockage.” Thankfully, he went into surgery just in time. Doctors were able to remove the mask successfully.
The little guy is in the care of ARL while he recovers. Once he gains more weight, ARL says Gibbs will be up for adoption.
Proper Mask Disposal Can Prevent This From Happening
Ever notice your pup trying to smell your mouth, especially after you’ve eaten? Well think about how you’re breathing mouth-smells into your mask all day. The smell of a discarded mask might appeal to an animal who can swallow it.
In a statement, the Massachusetts Veterinary Medical Association said:
“Masks can smell like food and might attract pets and wildlife. Animals that ingest these items can experience stomach upset, blockages, or worse.”
In general, keeping your trash and other waste concealed in a securely closed container should be routine. As dog people, we know how good our dogs are at breaking into things. Especially things we don’t want them to get into. These naughty rummaging missions can unfortunately end up fatal for our pups.
The ARL warns:
“These items can cause massive stomach upset or blockages, and the metal nose wire in masks may cause a variety of health issues, including sepsis, which may prove fatal if not treated.”
Dogs Don’t Need To Wear Masks
Though there is a canine coronavirus disease, all evidence shows that it differs from the strain that affects us. Dogs cannot infect people and vice versa. The primary mode of transmission for coronavirus in dogs is eating feces. I hope you try to do this anyway, but keep your pup away from any left-behind piles.
Putting a mask on your dog will only irritate them, and they’ll likely remove it like a regular old costume piece.