A Michigan dog named Harley swallowed a Fitbit, but it continued to track the animal’s movement.
The story was told in a March 15, 2023, press release issued by the Pet Poison Hotline.
According to the press release, when Marie Fournier “went to retrieve her Fitbit from its charging cord in her bedroom and found it missing, it didn't take long for her to suspect a suspect. “
Her dog Harley's Fitbit “became lodged after ingestion and is clearly visible in her radiograph,” the release says.
"I had my Fitbit plugged in on my dresser upstairs," said Fournier, who lives in Caseville, Michigan, according to the release. "I don't use it every day, but I was confident I had left it in the bedroom. After a couple of days of looking for it, I opened the app and confirmed it must be around because someone was using it. It was hilarious. It had been tracking movement and it was like I rode my bicycle outside for 20 minutes."
Fournier called the Pet Poison Helpline, which is “the nation's largest not-for-profit pet recovery service, offering its 24/7 toxicology expertise as an optional, unlimited benefit for its members to add to their pet's lifetime protection.”
She was advised to take Harley to a vet, according to the release.
"With any foreign body ingestion, there is a risk the item can become lodged in the stomach or intestines," said Dr. Renee Schmid, a senior veterinary toxicologist at Pet Poison Helpline, in the press release. "We were also concerned about the Fitbit's lithium polymer batteries. Lithium batteries can be more dangerous than common alkaline batteries, as they generate electrical current that causes severe tissue damage and necrosis (tissue death) if lodged in the gastrointestinal tract. Since it was more than 24 hours since ingestion, there was a concern the Fitbit would not pass on its own and we recommended surgery."
According to the Hotline, “If a pet ingests any type of battery, including the most common lithium and alkaline dry cell batteries, severe damage to the gastrointestinal tract can occur and immediate veterinary care is recommended,” but that did not happen with Harley.
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