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Cotton Ball Remedy Really Works!

"My dog swallowed a bone whole!" "My dog ate a chicken bone" "My dog swallowed something sharp" "Help, my puppy ate glass!" 

DO NOT use this remedy IF:

  • Your dog is unwilling to eat. NEVER FORCE your dog to eat the cotton balls! Dogs know when they are able to eat. Refusing food or the cottonballs, may indicate a bowel obstruction. Forcing your dog to eat the cotton balls could result in internal problems which will require immediate medical attention!

  • He is vomiting.

  • He has gotten into poison. Read here

What some claim about our Cottonball Remedy advice:

"I wouldn't try any cottonball trick, what if it's not safe?" "Dangerous!", "Ridiculous!", "Don't feed her cotton balls, those can cause a blockage in the digestive tract!"  "Cotton can cause a blockage and that could cause death as well."

It is interesting to note that ones who post these negative comments have NEVER used our remedy for their dogs. I asked one individual why he thought it was bad advice and was told his mother in law's dog died from this remedy. When pressed about what had happened, the story changed to that of a friend of his mother in law and he wasn't sure if the dog had been ill prior to this and on and on. It was one of those stories that can never be substantiated but the individual remains steadfast in their belief that the Cottonball Remedy will not work!

So if a dog gets into the trash and scarfs down some old bones what do theses people suggest doing, nothing? Is it better to allow one's dog to die a slow, painful death rather than use a treatment known to work?

Let's do a reality check: Take SEVEN (7) large cotton balls, the most recommended for a 50+ pound dog and thoroughly soak them in water. Note how much cotton is actually there, not a lot.

According to our instructions, you are to tear the cotton balls into small pieces before giving them to your dog.  This will allow the smaller pieces to migrate toward the sharp object and hopefully wrap around it or pad it before it exits the dog's intestines. Now YOU decide if this is an unsafe remedy or not. We suggest that after successfully using this method, you keep your dog on a bland diet for a few days to allow his system to fully recover.

From ones who have used our remedy:


For the Cottonball Remedy you will need

  1. 100% cotton balls, not "cosmetic puffs" since these are made of man-made fibers and not suitable in this instance. Cut or tear the cotton balls into small pieces.

  2. Food you know your dog will readily eat. Softened butter, liquid coffee creamer, condensed milk, Liverwurst, Vienna Sausage, raw hamburger meat, etc.. Do you get the point?  Whatever food you know your dog will eagerly eat is what you should offer him.

  3. Dip cotton ball pieces into your dog's food. For small or toy breeds, offer one cotton ball at a time.

Once eaten, this remedy will begin the process of bringing the foreign object out of your dogs system SAFELY

Give According to Weight

5 - 10 lbs (2.26 - 4.53 kg) = 2 cotton balls

10 - 50 lbs (4.53 - 22.68 kg) = 3-5 cotton balls

50 - 100 lbs (22.68 - 45.35 kg) = 5-7 cotton balls

Dogs seem to really like these strange "treats". As the cotton works its way through the digestive tract, it will attract the sharp objects your dog may have swallowed, wrapping itself around them.

Even the smallest bits of the object swallowed will be caught and wrapped in the cotton fibers. The cotton acts as a protective barrier for the intestinal wall, allowing the object to be eliminated safely with the dog's next bowel movement.

Expected Results:

Your dog's stool will look odd for a few days as the cotton is eliminated from his system. Be alert for any signs of fresh blood in the stool as this could indicate small internal tears. You may want to consult with your vet if this is the case. In the majority of cases though, the dog is just fine. The cotton always comes out with the object safely embedded in it.


Marshmallow root, not the candy marshmallows you buy in the store! It is an herb found at your health food store. This sweet herb serves as a lubricant and helps to expel, soothe and soften tissue while controlling bacterial infections. Also soothes inflammation in any hollow organ such as the lungs, food canal, urinary and reproductive system and will absorb mucous and poisons.

Canned pumpkin in its pureed form (not pumpkin pie filling) is also a great stool softener and a natural remedy for constipation. It helps soothe an upset stomach or indigestion in both cats and dogs. It is very rich in fiber and one or two teaspoonfuls to your pet's food will get their system moving in no time.

Salmon oil mixed in with some food also works well as a natural "lubricant". Only a couple of squirts (maybe 8-10) mixed in with soft food will help.

Keep in mind that the above alternatives, although beneficial for helping to move things along the digestive tract, will NOT help to protect your dog's system by wrapping around the objects as will the cotton balls.

Why COOKED Bones Are Hazardous

Cooked bones have had all of the moisture drained from them and they become dry and brittle. As they move down a dog's intestinal tract, they splinter into tiny pieces as sharp as needles and can scrape, puncture, or block the intestines. This is how a dog is put into a life threatening situation.

Turkey bones—whether they have meat on them or not—are the ultimate splintering bones, and should never be given to dogs!

Any sharp point on a bone can scrape and cut your dog's gastrointestinal tract from the esophagus down to the rectum, causing damage on its way in or out. A sharp bone can even cause a perforation in your dog's GI tract. Bones may also get stuck in part of the tract and cause a blockage that does not allow food to pass. 

If a blockage has occurred a pet will usually:

  • Vomit most of what he eats or drinks (if eating or drinking at all)

  • Will act depressed

  • Will lose weight if enough time is allowed to pass.

            Here is what occurs with a blockage:

  • Blockage in the esophagus (tube that carries food, liquids and saliva from the mouth to the stomach), will usually cause a dog to lick his lips frequently, swallow a lot and he will most likely throw up his food directly after being fed. Vomiting can easily lead to dehydration if he cannot keep down food or water. He will not last long if this continues.

  • Blockage in the stomach prevents food from entering the intestinal tract. He may vomit several times within a few hours of eating.

  • Blockage in the small intestine will cause gas to build up in his intestines. As a result, the intestines will swell and eventually the blood supply will be cut off leading to tissue death. A dog in this serious condition will vomit soon after eating, show signs of stomach pain, in fact his stomach will look distended and this will be followed by fever, shock and death if left untreated.

  • Depending on where the blockage is, diarrhea and/or vomiting may occur 7-8 hours after eating.

  • A blockage left untreated will lead to:

    • Perforation or tissue death of part of the gastrointestinal tract

    • Shock

    • Death will result if a blockage is left untreated. This can be a slow, painful death!

    Even if a bone doesn't result in a blockage, it can still cause an internal abrasion or perforation of part of the gastrointestinal tract.

    If your pet has an internal abrasion, he may:

    • Vomit (possibly with blood)

    • May have diarrhea (also possibly mixed with blood)

    • Decreased appetite

    If a perforation has occurred, your pet will:

    • Be extremely ill

    • Lethargic

    • Reluctant to get up

    • Unable to get comfortable

    • Snarl or growl when touched on the belly

    • Most likely will not eat

    • May have a fever

    This condition can lead to shock and even death if untreated.

    If you know your pet has eaten bones and you have tried the Cotton Ball Remedy or alternatives without success, call your vet as soon as possible! (Remember, after your dog has eaten the cottonballs, it may take several hours before he defecates and you are able to see the small portions of cotton in his stool. ~Mel)

    If your pet is not vomiting, the vet may have you feed a high-fiber diet and monitor your pet for 24 hours to see if any symptoms occur. Or he may have you come into the clinic so he can X-ray your pet's belly to see exactly where the bones are. The vet is likely repeat the X-ray later again to make sure the bones are moving.

    If the bones, or splintered portion of the bone has not moved or been dislodged, surgical removal may be your only alternative. Bones that are caught in the esophagus may be removed with an endoscope (a flexible, fiber-optic scope that allows for surgery without an incision) under general anesthesia. If the esophagus is damaged, your vet may have to surgically repair it.

    Bones in the stomach can sometimes be removed by endoscopy but they are usually removed through traditional surgery by making an incision in the stomach. Bones in the small intestine are always removed surgically.

    If bones haven't gotten stuck by the time they reach the large intestine, they probably won't. But this doesn't mean that they won't cause a perforation. Bones that have made the trip all the way down the gastrointestinal tract sometimes get stuck at the rectum. These usually have to be removed with your dog under anesthesia, and the tissue has to be checked for injury and tears.

    Dogs who need treatment for bone ingestion are generally quite ill and often dehydrated by the time they are brought into surgery. They require intravenous fluid therapy during surgery and good monitoring afterward.

    pawprints across page

    When Good Dogs Eat Bad Things  by Karen Klemens

    Jake's story is horrible but all too common. His owner thought he was just giving his Rottweiler a bone -- a chicken bone. The owner knew it wasn't the best thing to give Jake but didn't know why, and he certainly didn't think he was killing Jake. That's what happened, though.

    Over the next few days, Jake died a slow, painful death. The splintered chicken bones punctured the dog's gastrointestinal tract, causing deadly toxins to be released into his stomach.

    Jake became disoriented -- he wouldn't respond to his owner and he'd look around aimlessly. He also would regularly sit and, only using his front paws, spin around in one place. A short time later Jake succumbed.

    Common and not-so-common household foods and products given to your dog can be deadly. And just in case you think turkey bones are safe, owner beware: turkey bones splinter worse than chicken bones and can be just as deadly if given to man's best friend.

    See also: Toxic Dog Treats & RawhideandChewyTreats.htm