Thursday, January 1, 2015

Dangers of Disposable Diapers

Many have heard the sad story of a cloth diapering family who lost their beloved pet a couple years back. The story claimed that the dog tore into a clean, unused cloth diaper that was located on a dresser, and the diaper expanded to cause a blockage and internal bleeding. The story was well circulated throughout the cloth diapering community, but those who attempted to verify the facts or contact the family were unsuccessful. 

I recently attempted to find out the validity of the story, too. Nobody I contacted could put me in touch with the original author, and when I posted in groups asking for information on the story or the author, I had the same results.

One thing differed, though: I met Barbara. A fellow cloth-diapering mom, Barbara saw my post, and inquired as to the dangers of ingestion of a disposable diaper. Earlier that day, her 12 lb. chihuahua, Cash, had gotten into one from their trash and ingested an estimated 1/4 - 1/2 (it was scattered throughout the house)of the insides of the diaper. She worried about the health of her dog, though her dog was acting fairly normal. The alleged story linked above was shared with her, another mother in the group shared her experience when her dog consumed some of a disposable (which was a $500 ER vet trip to prevent the diaper from creating an obstruction), and she decided to take her dog in.

I'd like to take this moment to state that, while I am obviously pro-cloth diapering, disposable diaper gel beads are not toxic, but you still shouldn't ingest them. Obviously, it is not recommend for ingestion by any person or animal, but it happens. Animals are sneaky and fast. In fact, toddlers are sneaky and fast too. The threat is not the toxicity of the consumed material, but the extreme absorbency of the materials as well as their ability to expand and create blockages. This could be a very real threat to children as well as animals.

Barbara's daughter holding their chihuahua, Cash.

Barbara followed up with me privately, letting me know her family's furry member will be okay. One ER vet visit, and $1000 later, it was revealed that all the moisture was absorbed from the dog's intestines and had both dehydrated him and caused a blockage. Their dog required x-rays, an IV, and medicine to help pass the ingested material. The vet told Barbara that the dog wouldn't have been able to pass all that he ingested on his own, and it was a good thing they took him in when they did.

Not all stories of pets ingesting diapers end up in a tragedy or an expensive vet visit. Some dogs ingest so little that they just poop it out like it was nothing. Still, it's wise to know the very real threat that disposable diapers can pose to an animal (or child). 

Nobody can apparently verify the validity of the original story that circulated in 2012, but that story helped save the life of Barbara's pet, which is now shared with you (with permission from Barbara) to help spread awareness on the dangers of the insides of disposable diapers.

Disclaimer: Thoughts of Fluff is responsible for the content of this post. This story, and picture, was reproduced with permission from Barbara B.

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