Vets Share Worst Things Their Pet Patients Ate

Every year Veterinary Practice News holds a contest called “They Ate What?” in which veterinarians and clinic staff send in X-rays and case descriptions of the craziest things their patients have swallowed. The contest is a fun way to share offbeat incidents from the trenches of veterinary practice, but the stories do serve as a reminder that our pets need to be protected from the consequences of their dietary indiscretions. Here are a few highlights from the “They Ate What?” contest. Click through for the runners up and grand prize winner.

Honorable Mentions:

Melissa Seavey, Healthy Paws Veterinary Center, Westborough, MA

Ten baby bottle nipples were removed from the stomach of a 4-month-old golden retriever.

Stephen Crosby, CVT, VTS, New Haven Central Hospital for Veterinary Medicine, New Haven, CT

An owner was feeding peanut butter off a spoon to her Alaskan malamute, who managed to gulp down the treat while it was still attached to the spoon. X-rays showed that the dog had previously also eaten a piece of a collar and a toy.

Caitlin Fickett, Alaska Veterinary Clinic, Anchorage, AK

A dog came in for vomiting and eating grass. X-rays revealed a foreign body in the stomach. The next morning, an additional X-ray better showed the object — a hard plastic dinosaur.

Patti Klein Manke, DVM, Woodstock Veterinary Clinic, Woodstock, NY

Prince Edward, a 9-year-old bulldog, ate his owner’s false teeth after finding them in a bowl of ice cream. The teeth were returned to the owner. (Hopefully they were cleaned well before being put back into duty!)

See also: 10 Foods Poisonous to Pets

Runners Up:

Lisa Anne Attanasi, DVM, Eaglewood Cliffs Veterinary, Eaglewood Cliffs, NJ

Wailen, a 12-year-old beagle, presumably was brought into the clinic with symptoms of gastrointestinal distress. His veterinarian ordered abdominal X-rays, which revealed a hodgepodge of foreign “stuff” in his stomach. During surgery, the doctor removed shoe laces, mulch, a knee high stocking, a plastic plant, plastic ties, and the bristles of a car snow-cleaning brush.

Jenny Yanson, practice manager, Suburbia North Animal Hospital

Tinkerbell, a 6-month-old bulldog, ate a metal slip collar, became ill, and was brought into her veterinarian’s office. X-rays revealed that this was not her first offense. Two slip collars were surgically removed from her stomach.

Grand Prize Winner:

Vanessa Hawksin, DVM, Bayshore Animal Hospital, Warrenton, OR

A dog came into the clinic because of hind leg lameness. The doctor ordered radiographs to look for musculoskeletal abnormalities, and found nine handballs in the dog’s stomach instead. (I assume these were unrelated to the dog’s lameness.)


For more cases, reprints of the X-rays, and other photographs, visit the Veterinary Practice News website. Anybody have a story to beat these?

24 Common Plants Poisonous to Pets
Dog Dies on Flight: Safe Pet Travel Tips
10 Surprising Things That Could Make Your Pet Sick

“They Ate What?” originally appeared on


Carrie-Anne Brown

thanks for sharing :)

Alicia Lopez
Alicia Lopez4 years ago

one time my brother in-law's lab was caught eating from the baby's dirty diaper trash can....gross

j A4 years ago

human xrays show some interesting things, too

Vicki Maitland
Vicki maitland4 years ago

my girls aren't too bad,just have smell everything i eat.i got a shock when my cat ate weetabix, i was not doing that again.

Mariniki Liani
Past Member 4 years ago


Patricia H.
Patricia H.4 years ago


Angelene B.
Angelene B4 years ago

Oh goodness!

Angela Roquemore
Angela Roquemore4 years ago

Manuela C.: YIKES!

Ramesh B.
Past Member 4 years ago


Janice W.
Janice W.4 years ago

Well I am glad we have never had to make a run to the ER vet! lol We currently have a cat with strange cravings for bread, muffins, cake (especially chocolate) and love, love, LOVES Amish Friendship Bread! I have to make sure the counters are completely clear of anything food before bed because he will rip open the plastic & eat at least some of it. But not before he knocks it onto the floor so the dog can eat what she likes in the morning! Teamwork! lol Gotta love it. The worst was at Christmas when I had made a batch of banana breads to give to the mail carrier & neighbors only to get up the next morning to half eaten breads & had to start over!! What was he thinking...."well that one didn't taste so good so let's try this one..."???

Then there is the dog that can't be left at home alone for more than 30 mins. with the bedroom door open because she'll get into the bedroom trash cans & eat nasty tissues, etc. or get into the bathroom trash can & eat worse than that!!! To make matters worse she'll drag the nasty stuff into my bed to chew it up & leave some of it there!! Yuck! I have gone so far as to call on neighbors to come over & close the door if I even think I left it open!!

But the one that really wins the award was a dog we were pet sitting a few years ago. It was a cocker spaniel. He got into our bedroom trash can while we were out for a few hours. When my husband checked the mess on the floor he noticed that the condom that was sup