January 11, 2023 Everyday Medicine

My Dog Ate My Ethernet Cable! And Other Examples of “Wired” Dogs

Wirehaired Fox Terrier

My Dog Ate My Ethernet Cable! And Other Examples of “Wired” Dogs

As dog lovers, we all have a special place in our hearts for wirehaired breeds including the wirehaired fox terrier, the breed with the most wins at New York City’s favorite dog show, the Westminster Kennel Club show. There are also wirehaired pointers, dachshunds and a relatedly obscure breed, the wirehaired pointing griffon. However, at the Schwarzman Animal Medical Center, “wired” can take on different connotations from the unusual foreign objects we find in our canine patients. I’ll provide some fresh examples of “wired” dogs in this blogpost.

Puppy Uppers

If your dog is unexpectedly agitated, aggressive, panting or tremoring, his wired state could be due to ingestion of prescription stimulant medications. These drugs are used to treat attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or to promote weight loss, and many include amphetamine as an active ingredient. Street drugs such as crystal meth or Ecstasy belong to this class of medications. Definitely not something you want your dog ingesting.

While you might think your dog eating medications is far-fetched, WebMD reports that the number one cause of poisoning in animals is over the counter drugs, and the number two cause is prescription medications. AMC’s emergency room veterinarians mange accidental drug overdoses nearly every day.

Chocolate Chow Hound

Many dogs have a sweet tooth and will take any and every opportunity to eat chocolate. But chocolate contains theobromine, a compound related to caffeine, that will intoxicate dogs. The darker the chocolate, the worse the clinical signs. The clinical signs of chocolate intoxication are quite similar to those of amphetamine ingestion: hyperactivity or agitation, an increase in heart rate, muscle tremors and seizures. During one two-month period at AMC, chocolate ingestion was the most common intoxication treated by AMC’s ER. That two-month period included both Valentine’s Day and Easter, both chocolate-ladened holidays. You have been forewarned regarding those upcoming holidays.

Cord-Cutting Pooch

My last example of a wired dog is a new one for me. This dog came to AMC’s ER because he was vomiting pieces of an ethernet cord. You can see from the x-ray that he has pieces of metal in his stomach and colon. AMC’s Internal Medicine team used endoscopy to “unwire” this dog who was discharged after the procedure. The photograph of the ethernet cord in the dog’s stomach was taken using the endoscope’s camera. The cord is white and flat, just like the one I have at home!

X-ray of a dog with ethernet cord in the stomach on the left and colon on the right.
View of an ethernet cord in a dog’s stomach.

In All Seriousness…

If your pet eats medications, chocolate or an ethernet cord, contact your veterinarian or one of the animal poison control hotlines to determine your next steps. They could save your pet’s life.

ASPCA Animal Poison Control Center | (888) 426-4435

Pet Poison Helpline | (855) 764-7661

Tags: chocolate, dogs, foreign object, hazards, medications, pet emergency, pet safety tips, pets, poison, x-ray,

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