Honey Receiving Hospital-ity (Literally)

Sleeping golden retriever puppy


Honey is in the hospital today. She’ll be back home with us in a few days. But now, she’s recovering from abdominal surgery to remove a blockage in her small intestine.

I’m hoping someone will read something here that will help them keep their little loved one healthy.

Honey’s been alternating between sick and well for a little while. When she started vomiting, we put her on bland food and her vet performed fecal tests looking for parasites. Honey also took antibiotics for a possible infection.

The tricky thing was that one day Honey was happy, healthy, and hungry and the next she’d be vomiting and lethargic. And she was losing weight. Our vet did xrays and referred us to get an ultrasound so we’d have better info about the “thickening” seen in her small intestine. Sure enough, it definitely looked like a blockage and we were advised to schedule surgery right away.

Everyone questioned us: is there anything missing around the house? Has Honey chewed up string? Or clothing? Or carpeting? Or furniture? No, no, no, and no. Honey’s just not a typical puppy chewer. Until we remembered something–

Back in early May, someone gave Honey a cheap, plush toy with a squeaker. It was a risk letting her play with it but she loved it! And we couldn’t deny her.

When I heard Honey chewing plastic and realized she had loosened the squeaker from the body of the toy, I went to grab it from her (this was before she had “leave it” down as a solid behavior). When Honey saw I was going to grab the squeaker, she, in a fit of uncharacteristic orneriness, swallowed hard. I gave a gentle, Puppy Heimlich before stopping in fear that I could cause more damage forcing the plastic part up her throat than if I let it go down.

We were advised that we should keep an eye on her but the item might pass safely. We took more interest in puppy poop that month than I’m happy to admit but we never saw a sign of that squeaker ever again–until last night, when the surgeon recovered it from her small intestine.

No, it’s not typical for a swallowed object to cause a problem 3 months later. But it’s what happened to Honey.

I’ve felt a bit stupid buying such expensive dog toys for Honey but I see now that the sturdy things we normally have around the house show little sign of wear and hold up well to tug, chew, and whatever else Honey wants to do with them.

Lessons learned?

  • Invest in good toys.
  • Don’t be afraid to deny your puppy something that you know could hurt her.
  • Have excellent vets with good judgment, clinical skills, and communication.

Thanks to everyone at Cornerstone and Colonial for providing such excellent care for Honey.

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  1. Oh my gosh, I am so sorry to hear that Honey is ill!!!! I sure hope she has a speedy recovery. It also really makes you think about what kind of toys you should leave around the house while unattended- like away at work. I’m going to do a good sweep on toys in the morning! Keep us updated on your girl.

    Elizabeth & Luna

  2. Thanks for the well-wishes. I’ll whisper them in her ear when I visit today.

    I’ve been careful about what I leave her with when she’s alone. Usually, I choose hard toys with no moving parts (Kong, Nylabone).

    The one exception is her “schmoo bear”, a fleece stuffed animal that’s almost as big as she is. She uses it as a pillow so I wouldn’t expect her to shred it to bits at random.

    Good luck on your toy sweep. I hope I didn’t scare you too much!

  3. Poor Baby!!! Hope her recovery is speedy!!

  4. Thanks. We hope to have her home soon.


  1. […] regular readers know all about Honey swallowing a squeaker from a toy and requiring emergency surgery. You can imagine how the sight of a loose squeaker could cause fear and […]