Eleven-year-old Labrador Retriever, Laci, is in ICU after a fight for her life.
Her owner Keri Pavlick’s says her health issues began when her beloved Labrador vomited for days. The dog finally threw up a piece of thick red plastic. Keri, is convinced the red plastic was from a KONG toy.
“The whole top part of it was missing,” said Keri.
And that was not the end of it. A few weeks later, the dog vomited again for three days. She was taken for treatment each day and the vets were stumped.
On Monday, the Labrador was admitted to the veterinary hospital. Prior to this she was so lethargic that Keri was convinced she would die.
“At this point she had also contracted pneumonia due to constant vomiting,” said Keri.
An ultra sound showed another piece of red plastic. Referring to the baggie with the plastic in it, Keri says, “They gave me this as a souvenir of what they removed from her intestine. I was shocked because I never thought that could happen to a KONG toy.”
“She’s my baby so it’s been so hard. Is she ever going to get better? Because up to this point she’s been a pretty healthy dog,” said Keri.
The vet bills to date exceed $8,000 and are enough to make Keri want to throw up too. “It’s sickening. What’s the alternative? I can’t just let my dog die because she has a piece of toy stuck inside of her. It’s unfathomable,” she says.
“It’s not like this is an isolated incident. If you search the internet there are several reports of dogs swallowing parts of these toys. I really just wanted people to hear this story so they don’t have to go through this. To beware these toys aren’t as pet safe as everyone is led to believe.”
KONG founder Joe Markham told Channel 3 News, “We don’t like what we’re hearing back there. We take it very seriously. We don’t have many incidents but you can’t sell millions of anything without having any. If it’s not harder than a dog’s teeth it’s going to be vulnerable. It would have to be a rock.”
Markham pointed out there are size recommendations on the packaging. Large dogs shouldn’t have small KONGs.” He also said dogs should be supervised by their owner. Keri replies that Laci’s KONG was the correct size for a Labrador and that, “It’s ridiculous to have to watch your dog every time he or she is chewing on a toy that boasts ‘pet-safe, built-to-chew rubber.”