With beautiful fall days hopefully on the way once the latest set of rain passes by this weekend, many Utica/Rome upstate NY residents are looking to doing Halloween and fall decorations. Many of the local farm stores such as North Star Orchards on Rt. 233 in Westmoreland offer corn stalks, hay bales and various gourds and pumpkins as well as Indian corn.
Most of these decorations offer no threat to your pets. One to be careful about however, is the beautiful Indian corn. Most cats will ignore the brightly colored corn but your dog may decide the corn looks and smells like a fun chew object. Kernels of the dried corn will tend to simply pass through your dog with no effect.
Chunks of corn cob are another story. Most dogs have difficulty digesting hard chunks of corn cob. Unless the cob is chewed up into very small pieces, it may not pass through your dog’s digestive system. Days or even weeks later, a stubborn piece may cause an intestinal blockage.
Signs of an intestinal blockage may include diarrhea or straining to defecate, not eating, a painful abdomen and possibly vomiting. If you know your dog has chewed on some corn cob, be especially alert. Some dogs have died, despite surgery due to damage already done to the intestines.
This warning applies to the regular corn on the cob that you eat all summer as well. Dogs may be even more attracted to that corn if butter was used.
If you suspect your dog may have a blockage, call your veterinarian. If it is after hours, you may need to contact the closest emergency clinic. This could be the Emergency Clinic on Rt 233 at 315-853-2408 or the Veterinary Medical Center of Central NY in East Syracuse at 315-446-7933.