Last Night’s Abi Scare

Last night Abi really gave me a scare. It took me a bit to figure out what was going on. It was really a nail biter.

A Curious Thing:

I had noticed that for about an hour, it didn’t seem as though Abi was closing her mouth. She’s such a little toot that I thought maybe she was trying to get my attention with a new “feral look.”

After about an hour, it started to worry me. I reached over and tried to close her mouth. But it wouldn’t budge. And it didn’t seem to me it was her strength holding it open.

I put my finger into her mouth to see if something was in there. Nope. 

I brought her a few pieces of kibble and tried to hand feed her. Nope. 

Okay, I needed to bring out the heavy artillery. I got a small dessert plate and plopped a spoonful of non-fat cottage cheese on it. Her favorite. And only one of the two people foods she is allowed due to both dogs’ tendency for pancreatitis. The other people food is plain potato.

She Wouldn’t Eat Cottage Cheese:

She wouldn’t touch it. My heart amped up. I put my finger in it and tried to feed it to her. She would put her mouth down to it, but wouldn’t or couldn’t take a bite.

Then she would lay her head down, and push around her mouth with her feet. Which nearly tore me up, watching her trying to fix whatever was wrong.

The Fear In Me Mounts:

I’m crying by this time, because I know there is something seriously wrong. So I rush over to the computer and do a search for “my dog can’t close her mouth.” And came up with all sorts of reasons: drop jaw, etc. 

I thought: “Oh my God, how is she going to drink water till morning when I will rush her to the vet?”

I come back to find she had coughed up the object in her throat.

Her mouth was now closed. A big (or it sure seemed big at the time) piece of blue chewed up plastic dog toy is in front of her. She is staring at me. Apparently she coughed it up while I was in the kitchen.

Chew Toy Culprit:

I was so relieved I about sank down to the floor. 

These are the culprit. Not only her favorite toy. But the only one she will have anything to do with. You can see I took them away from her for the night.

Here is their bins of toys of all varieties. Chew toys, stuffed animals (which are Charlie’s favorites.) So it’s not as though these dogs don’t have toys.

You can see the navy blue key toward the top that she has chewed on.

Her Favorite Toy:

She has loved these keys since she was a puppy. Every few months I have to go to Petsmart and buy a couple of new ones, to the tune of about $9 a piece.


Abi is a chewer. She will hunker down after the lights are out and Charlie is snoozing next to her. Then I can hear her chewing like a fiend on her keys. Finally she will wear herself out and go to sleep.

I have tried every chewable dog toy I can find. She doesn’t care for them.

Charlie has never been a chewer. Hence he had to have 10 teeth taken out last fall. If you don’t use it, you lose it.

Charlie’s birthday:

By the way, Charlie Ross turned 8 yesterday. Abi’s birthday was just before his. She turned eight last month.

Say hi Charlie Ross! He’s a bit shy, the very opposite of his sister. Tell them you were the birthday boy yesterday.

So the crisis was averted. I laid awake awhile trying to get myself to calm down from the scare. 

Meanwhile, as I’m writing this, here are the pupsters. They can be fighting at one minute. And the next they are like this in one of the dog beds next to this computer.

I do love these little pupsters!


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  1. Oh my word that is so scary. I have a cocker spaniel who is a big time chewer. I do not give him rawhide (as large pieces can break off and get stuck). What I do use are bully sticks, achillies tendons, etc. They are all natural and dissolve (made from cow/bull tendons). I have also used nylabone brand chew toys. When chewed they don't break off, they splinter off (?) not anything dangerous, they are easily digestible. My dogs favorite is the chocolate flavor (heh take after my husband a choco-halic). good luck.

  2. So glad that she is ok!! Boy, it really scares us when our fur babies are not well. My three had bad allergies last week. I thought they were going to sneeze their selves silly. I was giving Benadryl every 6 hours around the clock for days. We thought we had a copper head snake close to the house so hubby put out moth balls and that did it. I made him take them up but the vet said it would just have to run it course. We had Cocoa's and the grand fur babies Kenzie Mae and Hush Puppie's 7th birthday party today. Cowboy and Cowgirl theme. LOL they loved the treats they get. Have a great week! Hugs to Charlie and Abi!

  3. Oh my you had a big scare, been through that too, So happy Abi is fine, happy birthday to Charlie Ross! My pups love an empty plastic water bottle stuffed in a sock and then knotted they seem to love that squenching sound. Glad everything is ok [email protected] Sweet Tea N' Salty Air

  4. I know how you must have felt…these are moments I think out vets must have…patients that can't tell us what's wrong. Thankfully she's okay. I remember Oprah had a Golden Retriever that choked on a tennis ball. Scary. Our family dog, Shadow once had a stick caught horizontally between his two back teeth. He was gagging and helpless all day until I saw him, reached in and pulled it out. Thankfully neither of these dogs I have chew random objects…just rawhide. Thank heavens your sweetie is okay.

    Jane xx

  5. A nerve rattling night for all of you. I am so glad she was able to upchuck it and is ok. No more keys! Glad your little fur family is ok and Happiest of 8 Birthdays to both.

  6. OMG ~ and I never like to say that phrase, but you had me so scared! What a horrible fright for you. I know how very dear she is to you, and well to all of us too. Honestly, these little guys have our whole hearts. I am going to research indestructible dog toys. Bentley usually only plays with the soft stuffed ones but he does have a plastic firetruck that belonged to Binkie and Bitterman that he loves. It is chewed in half. I am going to quietly remove it from his toy basket because he could easily do the same thing. I'll let you know if I find anything you have not. Give those babies lots of kisses from me and extra ones for Abi!

    Big Texas Hugs,
    Susan and Bentley

  7. My heart was in my mouth (no pun intended) reading this! I felt your anxiety through my computer screen. I've always said vets have one of the hardest jobs in the world…they have to know about all different kinds of animals and their patients can't talk.

    That little Abi really keeps you on your toes. And Charlie is just the opposite. Well, they always say, if the first doesn't get you, the second one will.

  8. That was just too scary. I'm so glad she coughed it up. I used to have a Petite Basset Griffon von Deen that would seek out my daughter's stuffed animals and just chew the noses off! So funny. My little Morkie gets soft pull toys. If there's anything plastic in them he chews them out, then I throw that out. We have a couple of the nylar bones he'll chew on once in a while, but not his favorite. Does she like dog biscuits? That's funny about her chewing on it til she wears herself out. At least a vet bill was spared!

  9. I do know that dogs like deer antlers, ours always get really upset if they bring in a shed horn and we take it away. DH makes stuff from the antlers. I have never heard of antler chews. The ones we discard, the dogs always chew on. Even the Jack Russell, who didn't chew up anything liked antlers and horses hooves. She would stand right next the farrier, waiting for him to throw the hoof trimming and run off with them. She didn't like dog bones, she would hide them. She was an interesting little dog. Lots of Jacks are really hyper, but she was more like a cat than a dog. She rarely barked, would sleep all day and all night, if there were no varmits to chase. She was a natural born killer. She was also the boss dog anywhere we went, she ate first and generally all of the dog food. If we went somewhere with strange dogs she would attack the one she thought was the boss of that pack, usually by clamping onto the side of his head. After that they all left her alone. She and our old cowdog Abbie, were like two cranky old ladies living alone who only got along with each other. Maybe your Abi will like the antlers. Antler comes apart when dogs chew on them, but I would think what gets in their stomach could be digested. They don't splinter like bones.

  10. Wow, what a scary situation. So happy little Abi is okay. Have you tried deer antler chews for Abi? We have kitties but the folks at the pet store tell me antlers are pretty popular with dogs.

  11. I'm am so glad she is ok. But please do not give her rawhides – I lost my Lucy to ones made in China. I'm still torn up about it…I knew to look out for other treats but not rawhide. Good luck with finding a substitute.

  12. I'm glad Abbie came out of this just fine…except for the key withdrawal. Isn't is kind of funny how they get us all worked up, near or in a panic,they fix their problem, it takes us hours or days to relax from the crisis and they just go about their routine as if nothing happened.
    I was searching the other night online for a different type of cat food and was on the Petco website. They have a live chat feature. The customer service rep who helped me really knew what I needed. Maybe that is where you could go to ask about a new toy for Abbie.

  13. So scary, but glad Abi is fine now. My Jack Russell didn't chew on stuff, she would just eat any kind of food. Once it was 10 lbs of bacon, and she only weighed 12 pounds. I thought she would die, but she finally threw it all up. Another time she ate a 1 pound pack of chocolate covered peanuts. She didn't throw that up, but acted like she was having caffeine overload. She sat on my lap and her little heart just pounded. It really is scary when something happens to our little family members. Your two are so cute, hope they stay safe for many many years.

  14. I would of been in tears too. We have 2 Yorkies and our little 2 year Yorkie was a chewer. She pulled a pair of my husband's boxers out of the hamper in the middle of the night and chewed up and eat the whole front side of them. We found this out when we woke up that next morning and rushed her to the vet. Just as the vet was going to knock her out to operate on her to get the fabric out…she started throwing the fabric up on her own. We got to bring her back home later that day. She has not chewed on any fabric since then.

  15. So thankful all is well! Our lab, and the part lab will chew plastic, paper, rubber, cardboard, wood, just about anything. My daughter's teacup pom(they live with us) doesn't chew too many things. So scarey when they get choked. After 3 kids, 7 grands and numerous dogs and cats, it is no wonder that we are grey. Ha ha. Blessings, Carolyn in Florida

  16. I can just imagine how scary that was is so good that she managed to bring it up on her own..Poor little sweetheart..Also a Happy Birthday to Mr Charlie Ross!

  17. I am so glad that at least you had an answer. That is just plain scary..and I can't imagine that bits and pieces of those would be good. I bet they could tear up the stomach or an intestine. Yeowwww! They sure are cute, Brenda. Happy Birthday to them both! xo Diana

  18. Oh my…that is such a scare. I am surprised she was not coughing ( or trying). So happy that she got it out on her own and that someone else got to experience cottage cheese. What the?? If you could only eat 2 people food and you were a dog, would you choose cottage cheese? Happy Weekend!

  19. I know exactly the panic you were feeling! One day our little Pomeranian was chewing on a small dingo rawhide bone, the kind with the knots on the ends. All of a sudden she started going in circles and crying in the most high pitched cry I'd ever heard! It took me a minute or two to figure out what was wrong…she had one of those knots stuck somewhere in her throat. I didn't know what to do…it was horrible. Finally, after what seemed like forever she got it swallowed. I was so scared!
    She had chewed up countless dingo bones before this incident with no problems, but I've never given her another since then.
    I'm so glad little Abi is OK!

  20. Poor puppy. We would move heaven and earth for their happiness. Their happiness is ours. Nyla bones were all I gave my dogs and the only thing they couldn' t devour. They come in different shapes and sizes. Good luck!

    1. I have some. I've tried to get her to chew them from time to time, with no luck. Now the keys are gone, so it's that or nothing I guess. She is now in "key withdrawal."

  21. Oh, that must have been so scary for you and for her. Fuzzy is not much of a chewer, he likes to shake and fling his toys until they start to wear out. He also likes to arrange them just so and group them together in different ways all of the time. Where I used to work, my boss had a Seeing Eye Dog. Nyla bones had been recommended to her for her dog. I've never tried Nyla bones with Fuzzy. He doesn't care for chew stuff. He would never chew on any dog biscuits, but instead he hid them around the house, and when I would clean I would find his secret hidden, unchewed dog biscuit caches in all different places. I imagine that he thought that maybe he might need them if there was some kind of doggy food shortage, or maybe that they would get to tasting better after some time passed. I'm glad that Abi is feeling good again!

  22. Your post scared us terribly! Poor darling Abi! She must have been so frightened! I would hesitate with giving water because I would suspect some mechanical or obstructive issue and would be afraid she' d have a pulmonary aspiration of the water or she might vomit and aspirate.
    Even though you were in tears you kept focused and in control. You're a strong lady.

  23. No more plastic toys. I have encountered the same thing with Lucy, my little Yorkie mix. She chews on everything, so I buy rawhide for her. I also go to the little pet store, and buy curly tendons…yes, tendons from a cow that look like a curly french fry. She will chew shoes, furniture, books, etc. I thought about putting her on anxiety rx, but just haven't yet.
    Greenies and plastic toys do not digest and can cause harm to dogs stomach and intestines. Anyway my vet said no. I am so glad she is ok. I would have been scared too.

    1. Well, I guess no more plastic toys then. Someone else said no rawhide either. What is left? She has never chewed shoes or house hold items of any variety. She will shred a paper towel if she spies one though.

    2. I know. It seems everything is a no no for them. Lucy likes stuffed animals and squeaky toys, but it isn't long until she tears them open and stuffing is all over the floor. She knows how to unzip my sofa cushions, and tries to take the stuffing out of that, but it is encased in another bag. Maybe I should buy those pig ear things. Disgusting

    3. Please no Rawhide! I've seen first hand it get stuck in a dogs throat and it was terrible to watch the owner try to get it out! Bully sticks are good but they stink to high heaven. Also there is a product that is like a rawhide but it's not and when I get home I'll send you the name of it. My puppers love them and they come in flavors. My scottie is not much of a toy lover as his scoodle sister is….She love Kong rubber bones and they last a pretty long time. Brenda she is about the size of you puppers so that might be a good choice too.

  24. Those keys do not really look safe if she can break them off. My Dudley, a boston terrier, has a nylabone type toy that he absolutely loves and brings it everywhere he goes. He chews it but it never really gets worn down so I have never had to replace it. He has had it for a year now and he still loves it. It is a small curved bone with a green center. I will email you the photo as it is hard to describe without a picture. It is worth a try. You may have to buy two if Charlie decides he likes it also.

    1. Thanks for sending that. She can't break them off, she has to chew them off bit by bit. She has all kinds of nylabones, and won't touch them, little stinker.

  25. Poor little Abi…I'm so glad she's OK! I'll send some squirrels for Charlie Ross over your way…we have a ton of them running to and fro! They're all over my yard, trees, and patio.

  26. First of all, I want to wish Abigail Rose and Charlie Ross a very belated, but happy birthday.. I'm so glad that the chewed key came back up instead of going downAbi's throat.. I know you must have been beside yourself with fear not knowing what was going on with her.
    When my son was a baby he used a pacifier.. We had a cocker spaniel, who liked to chew.. Low and behold, he got the pacifier and either had it in the back of his throat or he swallowed it and threw it back up. When we found it, that was it for pacifiers for Jim and "Fluffy".. Good reason for the pacifier to be gone "bye bye".
    Our kitties like to go after bugs, no matter what kind.. If my daughter sees them with a bug she makes a terrible spitting noise.. They drop the bug and she gets it with a napkin or paper towel.
    I guess we have to watch our four legged babies just like we did the two legged ones..
    So glad everything is okay..

  27. Brenda I would have been in tears also. I'm so so glad she is OK. I'd have to say no more plastic toys also. I know she needs to chew but that was just too scary! Glad you are OK this morning. HUGS!


  28. What an awful scare. I'm so happy that she is okay! It's a good thing to know that something could be stuck in their mouth if they can't close it. She is so lucky she didn't choke or stop breathing! xoxoo

  29. I got so nervous reading this post! So happy it had a happy ending! I lost my little Daisy Mae last month on August 4th…had her to the vet 6 times….surgery…endless antibiotics and steroids….nothing would work…she couldn't breath…the vet finally told me that it was unfair to Daisy to keep trying….I was devastated…still am…don't think I will ever get over it…I could cry typing this…our pets mean the world to us! And they are truly family!

    1. Oh Robyn, I am so, so sorry! I cry for years after I lose a pet just thinking of them. Be good to yourself. You are grieving and that is the time to be good to yourself.

  30. Glad the story ended well, you scared me! We can't give our lab rawhide because she tries to swallow them before they are small enough and then she chokes and we panic! I swear they run our lives just like kids!

  31. I'm so glad that you were able to figure out was wrong and it didn't require an expensive trip to the vet! That can be so scary when they can't tell you what's wrong. We only give our dog latex toys because they last longer than the plastic ones. Our dog is a MAJOR chewer! I don't think any of his toys are still in tact anymore. His favorite is the sticks he finds in our backyard. Guess that's why he's 9 and has never needed his teeth cleaned! However, they are worn down and we worry about how he'll deal with that in old age. Glad everyone is ok now!

    1. Mine are not interested in sticks, nor do they chew on plants unless they're herbs. Don't know how they know the difference, but they do.

  32. ok sorry in advance.. when I saw you say her mouth wouldnt shut, my first thought was– when does it ever lol lol
    I am soooooooooooooo glad you didnt call and holler in the phone, "omg omg Abie's mouth is open… laughing so hard the tears are rolling just at the thought of that scene..
    anyway– sorry you had hat scare and yep ya might have to give some thought about her having the keys..
    I've said it before but I'll say it again 3 good sprays into her mouth of Rescue Remedy would go a long way to improving the quality of her life and YOURS.

    1. I will check that out. And you're right, it is rare for Abi to close her mouth as in yapping. But this looked like a feral animal.

  33. OMG that is the scariest thing….I am so glad she is okay!!!!!!! I have been thru it a few times myself and have had to do the Heimlich maneuver twice! We no longer give our dogs rawhide bones because our Border Collie/Lab got a piece lodged side ways in the back of her throat a year ago. Our little Yorkie Booger never had toys until we adopted him last year. His only favorite toy he will play with is an orange stuffed Tigger toy. So, every few months I have to go buy him a new one because he chews only the ears off. LOL!!!!! Give those sweet fur babies a hug for me :o)

  34. Reading this scared me. Not sure I would ever give the keys back to her, but what to do? An old shoe? A meat bone? I have tons of stuffies for Rosie, but she rarely plays with them…she likes them all in the bed with us. Once I leaned in to kiss her head and she nipped my nose. She is a protector of those stuffies. Those stuffies rarely come to bed with us. She acts too ugly about it.

    1. That's funny about the stuffies. Charlie likes his stuffies. But he will excitedly bite it once to hear the sound, then drops it. Abi thinks she is above stuffies. Yes, the plastic keys must go. She snuffled around the bed half the night looking for her keys to chew.

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