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Janet Tobiassen Crosby, DVM

Beware of Batteries

By December 10, 2012

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Batteries by John Seb / Flickr Batteries are one example of things we never thought our pets would eat. Then again - a dog chewing up the TV remote, a phone receiver, or chasing (and ultimately chewing up) a battery-operated toy is a common story.

I came home last week to find that Purl, my always-busy-except-when-sleeping Greyhound, had chewed up a large pack of batteries my husband bought for flashlights and shop tools. Why she selected the pack of batteries from his shelf when there were much more exciting things laying around to chew on, I do not know.

I do know that I was worried after seeing the pack and the partially chewed batteries. Purl was fine now, but did she swallow any? I had no idea, since I didn't know if my husband had used any of the batteries in the pack yet. Turns out he had, and after a count of remaining batteries, I breathed a sigh of relief. All were accounted for. Potential serious problem avoided.

This is a hazard that exists year round, and especially during the holidays with all of the new gifts that need a power supply. Batteries contain acidic or alkaline chemicals, heavy metals, and the lithium button batteries may even pass an electric current to damage or kill tissue.

Learn about the types of batteries, battery toxicities and hazards, and what to do if you suspect your pet ate one.

Readers Respond: Dietary Indiscretion - Tell us the worst thing your pet has eaten

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Photo: Batteries by John Seb / Flickr

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