MEDINA, Ohio — It’s a cautionary tale about KONG.
Laci, Keri Pavlick’s beloved Labrador Retriever, sits still in ICU after a fight for her life.
It all started when 11-year-old Laci vomited for days and finally threw up a piece of thick red plastic. Plavick, who lives in Medina, is convinced it came from the red KONG toy that Laci chewed through.
“The whole top part of it was missing,” says Plavick.
But there was more to come. Weeks later, Laci threw up violently for three days. Each day demanded a trip to the vet. Doctors were stumped.
Until finally on Monday, Keri, convinced lethargic Laci was dying, takes her back. Laci is admitted to the animal hospital.
“At this point she had also contracted pneumonia due to constant vomiting,” said Plavick.
This time an ultra sound showed another hunk of red plastic. Plavick holds up a baggie with it inside and 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.”
Almost three days later, Laci’s bed at home is still empty in this house a sign hangs saying “Dogs make a house a home.”
“She’s my baby so its been so hard. Is she ever going to get better? Because up to this point she’s been a pretty healthy dog,” said Plavick.
More than $8,000 in vet and hospital bills is enough to make Keri want to throw up.
“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,” says Plavick.
“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 gong 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.
Pavlick said she had the correct size KONG for Laci 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.'”