Chew Toy Kills Reader's Dog

LeAnn writes:

On Friday, November 16, 2007, my dog, Catfish, died. Catfish died from ingesting a toy I bought her from the Dollar Tree. This was a dog toy by “Paws N Claws”, called a “Chase and Fetch Chew Toy”. It was a plastic boomerang distributed by Greenbrier International Inc. from Chesapeake, Virginia.

Here is an account of how things happened…

When I purchased this boomerang, there was no label on it. Catfish enjoyed this toy, so when it got old, I bought another, and later, a third one. None of these toys had any labels on them. I noticed that Catfish chewed off pieces of the toy, but did not think she was ingesting those pieces. I would find lots of parts of the toy chewed up laying around the house. She had obviously discarded them. I would pick them up and throw them away.

On Thursday, November 8, 2007, I woke up to my dog crying. I got up, and there was vomit everywhere. Some of the piles of vomit had blood in them. The vomit was a deep brown liquid. I called my vet and was told not to feed her for 24 hours. I did that. She was constantly shaking badly, and would hide under tables and chairs. The next day, Catfish was still sick. She was no longer vomiting, but she would not drink any water, was not interested in eating, and was still shaking and hiding. She just seemed really ill, so I called the vet again. The vet suggested feeding her some white rice and boneless, skinless chicken breast. I cooked these things, but Catfish did not want it. During the course of the day, I got her to eat a tiny bit of it. That evening, she threw it all up. I made an appointment for the next day, Saturday, at the vet. That day, the vet pulled some pieces of the plastic boomerang from Catfish’s rectum. We all hoped that that was the answer. However, Catfish continued to shake terribly, and still refused to eat and drink. Monday morning, I took Catfish back to the vet. The vet was able to pull another piece of this toy from her rectum. These pieces of toy were extremely sharp and pointy. I knew that these were parts of the boomerang, because of the color, texture, and the fact that all of her other toys were intact. The vet had me purchase some items for Catfish- a nutrition paste, and another paste intended to lubricate the digestive track making it easier for defecation. However, Catfish remained ill. She was still refusing to eat, and I had to force water into her mouth with a syringe. An appointment was made for Thursday the 15th for exploratory surgery. The vet opened Catfish’s intestines and stomach. Lots of the toy was found. Parts of her stomach were necrotic, and the vet sutured them. There was a massive amount of scar tissue on Catfish’s insides. The vet recommended that I leave Catfish with her until at least Saturday, however Catfish did not make it that long. The vet took Catfish home with her that evening, but on Friday morning she died. The doctor said the toy may have been toxic and gotten in her bloodstream, however, the death may have been due to the extreme scar tissue.

We buried Catfish Friday morning.

I have all of my receipts from the vet, as well as a bag full of the toy that was in my dog’s stomach. I have since been back to the Dollar Tree to purchase an identical toy. I mentioned that the toys that I purchased had no labels on them- This time, I dug through the toys thinking that surely there must be a label stating who made the toy, etc. After tossing aside 5 boomerangs with no label, I finally found 1 with a label. It is a piece of paper that easily slides off. While this paper did have a warning about supervising your dog while it plays with any toy, this warning was not provided to me when I purchased not only 1, but all 3 boomerangs.

I bought Catfish this toy because I wanted her to be happy. I wanted her to play and have fun. I never ever thought that I was killing my dog. If I had not bought this toy, my dog would be with me today.

Catfish was an excellent dog. A few months ago, a man tried to break into my apartment, but was scared off by Catfish. Less than a week later, that man was arrested for breaking into another apartment and sexually assaulting a woman. That is one example of how Catfish was everything you could want from a dog.

Unfortunately, to find out whether or not the toy is toxic would take way more money than I have to spend. I paid a great deal of money trying to make my dog well. No amount of money will ever comfort me. However- someone should pay for the death of my best friend. No other dog or dog owner should ever go through this. I want these toys taken off the shelves of every store. And I’d like for everyone involved in the selling of this toy to know how devastated and crushed I am by the loss of my poor dog.

Thanks for your time,
LeAnn Waters

Your story literally brought tears to my eyes. I’m truly sorry for your loss, and thank you for sharing your painful story. We hope you also send a copy of this letter to Dollar Tree and Greenbier.

Please don’t buy your pets cheap plastic toys from dollar discount stores. If they’re gnawing toys into shards, it’s possible for those shards to get lodged in your pet’s digestive track and possibly kill them.