Lifestyle & Human Interest

Veterinarian Finds 19 Baby Pacifiers Inside 3-Year-Old Dog's Stomach


Dogs are notorious for chewing on things they shouldn’t. If you have a furry friend of your own, you’ve likely told your dog to “drop it” more than once in your life.

But some canines aren’t satisfied with munching on shoes, bones and homework. Things can turn scary when a pooch decides to eat something small and indigestible, especially behind their owner’s back.

Even then, the owner may not realize something is off until their beloved pet starts acting unusual and sickly.

Emily Shanahan was alarmed to see her 3-year-old bulldog, Mortimer, displaying those strange symptoms at her home in Boston, Massachusetts. A doctor herself, she knew Mortimer was in need of veterinary care when he began vomiting.

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She immediately brought Mortimer to the vet, where he was prescribed medication for a vomiting syndrome.

Shanahan and her family hoped that the medicine would help Mortimer return to his normal, friendly self. However, Mortimer only got worse as the months went on.

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The bulldog seemed antisocial and lethargic, choosing to sleep in private rather than socialize with the family. The situation grew dire when Mortimer refused to eat.

Shanahan thought it was time for another visit to the vet. When she brought Mortimer to Angell Animal Medical Center, X-rays revealed something unbelievable.

Even the veterinarians were shocked to see a whopping 19 baby pacifiers in Mortimer’s stomach.

“I was shocked because even though I have two small children at home I’d never imagined he was eating their pacifiers,” Shanahan told WBZ NewsRadio.

Vets theorized that Mortimer snatched the pacifiers over the course of multiple months. His sneakiness helped him get away with the naughty act.

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“It’s likely that Mortimer started nabbing these pacifiers in April, perhaps one at a time, and that started a cycle of nausea and vomiting, which are symptoms that can be caused by so many other health issues,” Dr. Doug Brum of Angell Animal Medical Center said. “If not for the urgency with which his family pursued veterinary care, things would have gotten much worse for him.”

The vets got to work to remove all 19 pacifiers. No surgery was required, as each one was successfully removed by endoscopy.

Despite the bizarre incident, Mortimer has since returned to his spunky self. Although the situation was concerning, his family is happy that Mortimer was able to recover.

“We absolutely love this dog and would do anything for him — and I’m relieved that this was a problem that could be solved, as opposed to a chronic illness that would cause him long-term suffering,” Shanahan said.

According to the medical center, vets have seen pets with all kinds of unusual objects in their bellies.

“Mortimer isn’t the first dog to land in this situation and he won’t be the last,” said Dr. Brum. “But we’re just so glad he’s recovered and back home with his family.”

Once the incident went viral, the Medical Center addressed the matter on Twitter.

“What happened to Mortimer is VERY common,” MSPCA-Angell shared. “We remove all manner of  items from the bellies of dogs every single day ⁠– pets whose families are diligent, responsible and loving.”

Dog owners will agree that predicting what your pet might deem a tasty snack can be nearly impossible. However, Mortimer’s story is a reminder to animal lovers everywhere to keep a careful eye on your pet’s behavior. If something seems off, it’s probably time for an appointment with the vet!

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Noel Marquis is a journalist and animal-lover hailing from the Midwest. After an internship with Disney following her college graduation, she pursued a career writing content that makes readers smile. Coffee, books and superhero movies are some of her favorite things.