Often times as pet owners we buy toys as a means of spoiling them and showing them how much we care. And our pets absolutely appreciate them, it’s so sweet to watch our puppies go bananas over a new toy, or watch our senior dogs turn back into puppies for a moment. Buying our pets toys from a pet store, or the pet section of a store, is never something that we’d ever remotely equate with danger, as what we are buying is meant to be safe for our pets, right?
Well, when Indria Tuckler bought some new rope toys for her dogs, the danger was the last thing on her mind. She thought she was just being a caring pet owner and had no idea that the toys she bought would result in the death of one of her beloved dogs.
Tuckler had purchased a couple of seemingly sturdy rope toys that were made specifically for dogs at HomeGoods – a reputable store. Since these toys were made for dogs, she assumed that they would be more than safe for her dogs to play with.
However, the rope toys didn’t survive for long. In the span of a day, all the toys had been decimated – completely ripped apart with long shreds of rope just scattered across her home. Doing what any pet owner would do, Tuckler picked up the pieces of rope and threw them out, assuming that everything was fine and her dogs had just had way too much fun.
She had no idea that her 14-month-old Golden retriever named Sam had ingested bits of the rope, which caused severe internal damage to her organs.
Sam passed away a few days later.
“The ball unraveled and tore several holes in her intestines as she tried to pass it,” Tuckler wrote in a post that she shared on the Vizsla Dog Lovers Facebook group. “They removed 3 feet of rope that was entangled in her intestines. They also removed 14 inches of perforated intestines. The damage from the rope was so extensive that she passed away two days later. We did not even have the option of having another surgery. She quickly became septic and bled from her intestines into her stomach.”
Tuckler did what any pet parent would do: she bought her dog a toy because she loved them. Sadly, she had no idea it would end up costing Sam her life.
Following the tragic turn of events, Tuckler is sharing her heartbreaking story in hopes that other families will be made aware of the dangers of certain dog toys in order to hopefully be able to avoid tragedies of their own.
“Linear objects pose more danger because they travel along the intestines causing more damage as they clinch the intestines into a tight ball,” Tuckler explained in her post. “According to an article posted by Germantown Veterinary Clinic ‘Ropes are the most dangerous objects your dog can swallow’!!”
The “Real Simple” toy Tuckler bought is one that is sold across various well-known and established stores such as Petsmart, Petco, Homegoods, Marshall’s and TJ Maxx.
The symptoms from ingesting the toys include diarrhea, drinking excessive amounts of water, loss of appetite, and vomiting – symptoms that can also be confused for an upset stomach or parasites. That is why it’s important to get your dog to the vet – especially if you suspect they may have ingested something.
A rope is an item that is difficult to detect in an x-ray or ultrasound, and unfortunately, the only real way to identify it is through surgery – which is what Sam underwent. Sadly, once she’d already gone through surgery, the damage to her intestines were too extensive for her to be able to survive.
“This was a senseless and avoidable death,” Tuckler wrote. “These items should not be sold for dogs. I believe there is power in numbers and if we can share Sam’s story maybe we can save a dog’s life.”
And dogs aren’t the only ones who can be in danger. All cat owners should also be aware that there are similar dangers for cats should they accidentally ingest a thin rope or a string of some kind – they could easily wind up in a dangerous situation as well.
Share this story in order for all pet owners to be aware of the potential dangers these kinds of toys pose.