These can be very serious tissue burns that manifest as painful ulcers on the tongue, lips and inside the mouth. And even if a Beagle swallows a battery whole, there are still dangers since the casing may have been punctured by a sharp tooth before being gulped down. Finally, depending on the size of the battery, stomach or intestinal blockage is always a concern.
If your Beagle swallows a battery of any kind or if a battery is missing and you suspect that your puppy or dog may have ingested it, here is what to do:
1) Bring your Beagle to the veterinarian or closest animal hospital ASAP. If the vet's office is closed, still make this call; there should be an answering service or a voice message that instructs you regarding where to go or a number to call for night/weekend emergencies. While there are some steps that may be taken at home and even if your Beagle appears to be fine, internal burns can take hours to appear and it will be imperative to have x-rays taken to determine where the battery is located in the body.
2) Do not induce vomiting if your Beagle swallows a battery. This can cause serious burns to the throat.
3) You may be instructed to first rinse your Beagle's mouth with luke-warm water for 10 to 15 minutes or offering small amounts of cold milk to drink (your vet will tell you how much, based on your dog's weight
, since too much can cause diarrhea).
4) At the clinic, the mouth and esophagus will be examined to look for potential chemical burns and treated accordingly. Medications to help try and protect the gastrointestinal tract will be given; this may be given at the office and if the battery was chewed but not fully swallowed, you may be instructed to continue giving this to your Beagle at home. X-rays will be taken to determine the location of the battery and decision will be made regarding surgical removal. If it is suspected that the battery is leaking fluid in the stomach, it will need to be removed ASAP.
The full extent of burns from a dog eating a battery can take up to 12 hours to appear. For this reason, a Beagle may be kept at the clinic or may be sent home where owners will need to keep a super close eye on the dog. Signs to look for include developing lesions in the mouth and/or lips, drooling, weakness, reluctance to eat, vomiting and/or any signs of pain or distress.
Battery burns on dogs are often treated with strong pain medication and antibiotics to help prevent infection. Those with oral injury are often fed soft wet foods until the burns have healed.