Face mask swallowed by pet dog safely removed by TANUVAS vets 

It's a non-invasive procedure. Under general anesthesia, we retrieved the facemask. The dog had an uneventful recovery.

Published: 12th June 2021 07:42 PM  |   Last Updated: 12th June 2021 07:42 PM   |  A+A-

Vets performing the Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy procedure on the pet dog. (Photo | EPS)

Express News Service

CHENNAI: The improper disposal of discarded face masks, gloves, and other Personal Protective Equipment (PPEs) continues unabated leading to serious health concerns for both humans and animals alike. This time, a 6-month-old Siberian Husky nearly fell prey when the dog accidentally ingested a cloth face mask. 

The mask slipped into the puppy's stomach and the owner immediately contacted Dr S Balasubramanian, Director of Clinics, Tamil Nadu Veterinary and Animal Sciences University (TANUVAS) for help.   

"The pet owner contacted me on June 7th night. Our medical team did all the necessary investigations, including blood profiling and ultrasound scans. Luckily, the face mask did not enter the intestine and was still in the stomach. Otherwise, surgery would have been needed," he said. 

ALSO READ | New UK study indicates trained dogs could sniff out COVID-19 infections

On June 9, a team of veterinarians consisting Dr S Kavitha, Dr P Pothiappan, Dr PA Inbavelan from Department of Veterinary Clinical Medicine performed the Upper Gastrointestinal Endoscopy procedure under the personnel supervision and support of the Director of Clinics.     

"It's a non-invasive procedure. Under general anesthesia, we retrieved the face mask. The dog had an uneventful recovery. We should be extremely careful while disposing of PPE material to avoid accidental ingestion by pets and livestock. The common mistake people commit is mixing these materials with municipal solid waste rather than segregating and disposing of them according to prescribed rules," Dr Balasubramanian told The New Indian Express.

Meanwhile, environment secretary Supriya Sahu had tweeted about the TANUVAS team retrieving face mask from the stomach of the Husky along with the video of the procedure. In the tweet, she said: "The masks we carelessly throw away can end up killing animals. A team of veterinarians from TANUVAS, Chennai successfully removed a face mask from the stomach of a Siberian Husky dog. Video not for faint hearted. Please ensure safe disposal."  

In 2018, the TANUVAS team had removed over 50 kgs of plastic from the stomach of a single cow.


Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp