What happens when your dog eats your earbuds?

An x-ray of an earbud in a dog's stomach

What happens when your dog eats your earbuds?

According to Statista, in 2020, consumers purchased 233 million wireless “hearables” worldwide. The popularity of wireless earbuds is clearly on the rise, and the veterinarians at the Animal Medical Center can confirm that earbuds are popular with our canine patients as well. Not for listening to their favorite podcast, but for eating.

Dog Weight to Earbud Size Ratio

While dining on earbuds is never recommended for our furry friends, the outcome depends a bit on the size of your dog. A Great Dane will likely pass the earbuds after a couple of days because the diameter of the intestinal lumen is larger than the earbuds. But in a small dog, such as the terrier in the x-ray, the earbuds got stuck in the intestine causing the intestinal loops to fill with gas (the black curvy structures). A successful surgery removed the earbuds, and the little guy went home the next day. No report on if the earbuds still worked when we returned them to the owner.

An x-ray of an earbud in a dog's stomach

Yes, Intestinal Earbuds do Work

While the functionality of the terrier’s earbuds is unknown, if you check #dogateairpods on Instagram, there are reports of earbuds still working after surgical removal. One AMC client suspected his dog was responsible for a missing earbud when his phone automatically connected to the earbuds whenever he got close to the dog. This 45-pound dog ultimately passed the earbud; no surgery was required.

An x-ray of an earbud in a dog's stomach

Earbud Batteries Can Be Dangerous to Dogs

The batteries in earbuds, rechargeable or not, do pose a danger to your dog. The rechargeable lithium batteries found in most earbuds are more dangerous than disposable disc batteries. No matter what type of battery your pet ingests, when the battery contacts the delicate tissue lining the mouth, esophagus or any other part of the digestive tract, it can cause ulceration or perforation. The x-ray below shows a dog after eating a rubber ring containing batteries. Thankfully the device was removed endoscopically. The batteries had not been damaged during consumption and the stomach and esophagus were uninjured.

Children and dogs have a lot in common – battery ingestion can be as dangerous to children as pets. Unfortunately, the pandemic has increased foreign body ingestion in both pets and children. Protect your entire family by keeping objects with batteries and objects small enough to swallow away from children and pets.

Tags: Batteries, dogs, Earbuds, foreign bodies, pet poisons,

Related Posts

  • Responsible Pet Ownership
    A small, white dog with a toy
    November 15, 2010

    Magnets, Toys and Dangerous Objects

    Learn More
  • Emergency Pet Safety
    A cat at AMC
    June 05, 2019

    The Top 5 Reasons Cats Visit AMC’s Emergency Room

    Learn More
  • Emergency Pet Safety Responsible Pet Ownership
    Two veterinary professionals examine a dog on an exam table
    March 11, 2020

    Poison Prevention Week 2020: What to Do to Protect your Pet

    Learn More